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Real Madrid veteran ‘one of the five best players in the world’, claims Italy legend

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Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

It has not been the best of starts to the 2023/24 campaign for Luka Modric at Real Madrid.

An undisputed starter in the team for almost the entirety of his time at the club, the Croatian international has fallen down the pecking order this season.

Indeed, minutes have been hard to come by for Modric in the ongoing campaign, with Carlo Ancelotti preferring the likes of Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni, and Jude Bellingham ahead of the veteran 38-year-old.

Modric still one of the best, says Francesco Totti

Despite his age, Modric has shown he can make vital contributions to the team when on the pitch.

And, former AS Roma and Italy footballer Francesco Totti has claimed that despite his reduced role Modric remains one of the top five footballers in the world currently.

During an interview with MARCA, the Italy legend said: “For me he is still one of the five best players in the world, even now at the age of 38, at least in midfield.”

“He has a vision of the game that few others in the world have and he always decides a second or two before the rest,” Totti added.

Totti talks love for Real Madrid

Earlier this year, Totti had claimed that he considers Real Madrid his ‘second home’ even though he never played for any other club apart from AS Roma.

Explaining his comments, the former Italian international said: “I’ve always liked Real Madrid, ever since I was a kid. When I was a kid in Rome I watched all their matches.

“Madrid at that time was the club that inspired me, with all their great players. Watching them play was a great emotion for me.”

Totti considers Real Madrid as his second home. (Photo by Simone Arveda/Getty Images)

On what stood out for him about Real Madrid, Totti added: “Everything, the fact of being the most winning club in the world, the public, the Santiago Bernabeu, the sum of everything fascinated me.

“With Roma, I spent 25 years playing in different stadiums but the Bernabeu was, and is, different for me. It is a different atmosphere.”

Totti also went on to name a slew of Real Madrid legends as players who admired and was fascinated by.

“There were many, starting with Hugo Sánchez up to the generation of Hierro, Roberto Carlos, Salgado? I would be here all day reciting names without forgetting Ronaldo ‘El Fenómeno’, who I admired as much as Baggio, Del Piero, Zidane, Raúl, Morientes,” he said.

Totti also reserved praise for Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, saying: “We are talking about one of the best in the world, who has won in Italy, Germany, France and Spain. And as a person, he is a gentleman. He is perfect.

“Carlo and I have a great relationship. He’s a real person, who transmits good vibes. And the other day he gave me the pleasure to visit the Ciudad Deportiva of Real Madrid.”

Totti also shared a tidbit about his chats with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, saying: “Yes, I’ve met him a couple of times and he told me that the only blemish in his career is not having been able to sign me at Real Madrid, that was his only flaw.”

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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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