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Real Madrid worried about key superstar’s physical exertion at the World Cup

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Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Four years after leading Croatia to the FIFA World Cup finals, Luka Modric is at it again as he and his national team have made it to the quarter-finals of the 2022 edition of the tournament in Qatar.

And, like in Russia in 2018, the Real Madrid superstar is once again playing a pivotal role in Croatia’s run, having been a prominent feature in each of their matches thus far despite being 37 years old.

However, according to Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid are starting to get a little worried about the physical exertion that Modric is putting himself through at the World Cup.

Modric has displayed great endurance and longevity so far in his career, turning up and putting in top-notch performances week after week at the highest level.

However, playing in multiple high-intensity, pressure games with very little gap in between and then not having a long enough break to recover before the second half of the season of club football resumes can lead to physical problems.

So far, Modric has started each of Croatia’s four matches at the World Cup and has played a total of 365 minutes in Qatar.

The only two times he has been subbed off came in the game against Canada when he was taken off after 86 minutes and in the Round of 16 contest versus Japan when he was hauled off nearly ten minutes into extra time.

After the penalty shootout win over Japan, Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic admitted that Modric was exhausted which was the reason behind his being substituted even though a shootout was looming.

So, it is natural for Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid to be worried about the veteran superstar’s condition ahead of the second half of the season, even though there is a plan in place to ensure players returning from the World Cup are taken proper care of.

Prior to his departure for the World Cup, Modric had played 18 of Real Madrid’s 21 matches in all competitions this season, scoring five goals and setting up two more.

With the club trailing Barcelona in the La Liga title race, it is important for them to have Modric fit and available for the rest of the season. And Ancelotti & co. will hope that the wear and tear from the World Cup do not come to haunt them later.

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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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