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Real Madrid fear Toni Kroos will retire at the end of the season – report

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

As we enter the second half of the campaign, Real Madrid have their task cut out as they look to renew the contracts of several star players, who, as things stand right now, will become free agents at the end of the season.

The long list includes players such as Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos, along with Dani Ceballos. While Real Madrid are expected to receive positive responses from Modric and Benzema, there is some amount of uncertainty over the continuity of Kroos.

The German midfielder, who was not a part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, has hinted in the past that he may opt for an early retirement. The former Bayern Munich start had announced his retirement from international football last year, shortly after Germany’s debacle at Euro 2020.

Although Kroos has continued to play at the top level for Real Madrid, notably emerging as one of the top performers in the UEFA Champions League last term, a report from AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) suggests that the midfielder may retire at the end of this season.

German players are no strangers when it comes to early retirements. Kroos, aged 32, has featured in 383 competitive matches for Real Madrid, helping Los Blancos secure five Champions League titles, among other accolades.

Kroos is one of the most-used players for Real Madrid even in the ongoing campaign, having featured in almost 1,400 minutes of football in all competitions.

His retirement, therefore, could serve as a major blow for Real Madrid, who are already scouting the market for midfield reinforcements next summer. The club have reportedly identified Jude Bellingham as one of the top targets, but Kroos’ departure may force them to invest in another young midfielder in 2023.

Kroos, though, is yet to announce his final decision. He has the option of extending his contract at Santiago Bernabeu for a further year, and the midfielder may come up with a final verdict soon after the turn of the year, with the club expecting a decision by the end of January.

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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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