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Man City manager jokes about resting key player vs Real Madrid, issues update on two stars



Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City came into focus this weekend after the coach made wholesale changes to the team that faced Real Madrid in midweek.

Man City were able to secure a 5-1 victory over Luton, with the likes of Erling Haaland, Mateo Kovacic, Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol scoring goals.

Speaking after the game, Guardiola offered multiple fitness updates heading into the second-leg tie against Real Madrid.

Guardiola on Rodri being rested

Rodri was one of many first-team stars who were rested against Luton. When asked whether the midfielder was happy after being benched, Guardiola offered a rather sarcastic response.

“Absolutely. He will also rest on Wednesday against Real Madrid. Don’t you believe me?” he joked (h/t MARCA).

Rodri was on the bench against Luton (Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images)

Rodri is more than likely to play a key role on Wednesday against Real Madrid. After a 3-3 draw in the first leg, Rodri will play a key role in neutralising the Real Madrid midfield, comprising stars such as Toni Kroos and Jude Bellingham.

Guardiola on Walker and Ake

Kyle Walker was the big absentee for Manchester City in the first leg against Real Madrid. However, many expect the Englishman to feature in the second leg on Wednesday.

When asked about his fitness Guardiola confirmed both him and Nathan Ake asked him to be benched against Luton Town.

“They wanted to be on the bench and I told them fine, let them be there,” said Guardiola, who is more than likely to use Walker’s services on Wednesday.

With Walker back, Manchester City’s defence will be hopeful of shutting down the Real Madrid frontline, which managed to score three goals in the first leg.

Ake, too, could be a useful defensive weapon for Guardiola, although Man City will likely bank on their offensive firepower to combat Real Madrid in this high-octane encounter.

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Real Madrid News

Revealed: The blueprint behind Real Madrid’s €1 Billion revenue ambition



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

As one of football’s biggest and most successful institutions, Real Madrid enjoy serious perks on the economic front. After all, they cater to a worldwide audience and thus see their remunerations come in from across borders.

The arrival of Kylian Mbappe will only serve to further grow Los Blancos’ fanbase, and with a generational squad set to dominate world football for the years to come, Florentino Perez sees a special marketing opportunity.

According to reports from SPORT, Real Madrid have thus set themselves a target to hit €1 billion in revenue and have drawn up a concrete plan for the same.

The player aspect

As a football institution, one of the most significant aspects of remuneration is the team’s direct winnings in terms of prize money. Having won the Champions League last season and with Mbappe coming in, the team is in safe hands.

Moreover, the average age of Real Madrid’s squad is just 27.1 years implies that the team has significant longevity with little change expected in personnel.

The second important aspect that the club hopes to count on is the crowd-pulling factor that such young players exert on the new generation.

Kylian Mbappe will be the face of Real Madrid’s marketing campaign. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid already boast 410.9 million followers on social media and have added 48.4 million just last year. Mbappe, who himself has 132 million followers across Instagram and X, will further amplify that number next season and add to the club’s followers.

It is thus clear that the Frenchman will become the face of the club and the centre for all marketing operations of Real Madrid plan.

The road to €1 billion is thus not complicated, although Perez must be wary that Mbappe is picky with the brands he endorses. Further, the distribution of image rights will be a major factor to finalise.

The new Bernabeu

Having undergone extensive renovation, the New Santiago Bernabeu will take over as the world’s highest-grossing football stadium next season and play a massive role in boosting Real Madrid’s collections. The partnership with Sixth Street and Legends will also be crucial.

Furthermore, the new venue will also serve as a massive economy generator through miscellaneous events. Apart from Taylor Swift, the club also has agreements with Karol G, Aitana, Lola Indigo and La Velada del Ano de Ibai Llanos for exclusive events.

Real Madrid plan to add extra revenue from exclusive events at Santiago Bernabeu. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Needless to say, such events will serve significantly to boost the income and near the elusive €1 billion mark.


The final, yet critical manoeuvre Perez plans is to cut the costs on the wage front with a salary reduction of €0% already being made in both 2019-20 and 2020-21. That was, in fact, one of the major reasons Real Madrid stayed on their feet in the pandemic.

Player sales is another element where the men in white have worked their plan, getting rid of the older players while their market value was still high and reinvesting the cash into younger talents who can serve for at least the next decade.

The club recorded north of €800 million in income last year and the €1 billion mark is not too far off. Needless to say, the coming year could thus be special for the men in white.

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