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Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Villarreal | Copa del Rey round of 16

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Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will be looking to get back to winning ways as they take on Villarreal in the Copa del Rey round of 16 tonight. Carlo Ancelotti’s men will not be in high spirits after losing out to Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final.

Given their previous meeting against Yellow Submarines, Ancelotti has not taken any chances for this game, choosing to start the best possible XI at his disposal.

Karim Benzema will assume responsibility as the captain, spearheading the attack as the striker. He will have Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr in his aid on the right and left, respectively.

With Luka Modric rested, Federico Valverde mans the midfield as one of the advanced 8s, alongside Eduardo Camavinga, who is expected to play in central midfield, too. Toni Kroos, meanwhile, takes over from Aurelien Tchouameni as the defensive midfielder.

In defence, Antonio Rudiger gets another shot to impress in the absence of David Alaba in central defence. Eder Militao, too, retains his spot, but there is a change at right-back, with Dani Carvajal dropped in favour of Nacho. Ferland Mendy, though, continues at LB.

Andriy Lunin is the regular starter for Madrid in cup games, but Thibaut Courtois has been given the nod in goal due to the difficulty of this fixture.

Confirmed Madrid XI: Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Camavinga; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius

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Real Madrid News

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

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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.

Cost-cutting

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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