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Sergio Ramos retires from international football: “I envy players like Modric, Messi, Pepe”

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Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

In an unexpected development, Real Madrid and Spanish football legend Sergio Ramos has officially announced his retirement from international football. The defender has been at the centre of some of La Roja’s most historic achievements, but the world will not get to see him don the special red colours again.

In an official statement released on his social media profile, Ramos clarified that his decision was not based on his personal decision to quit. While he still believed he had a lot to give at the top level, it was Spain national team manager Luis De La Fuente that cut off any chances of a return for the player.

“I received a call from the current coach who informed me that I’m not and will not be part of his plans, regardless of how I perform or what I do in my career.”

His statement also clearly echoed the player’s heartbreak and disappointment at the development as he stated how he deserved to choose how his story with the national team ended as opposed to a decision purely based on his age.

“I honestly believe that this journey deserved to end at my own choosing or because my performances were not at a level worthy of our national team. Not due to a question of age or other reasons that, although I have not heard them directly, I have certainly felt. Because age in itself is not a virtue or a defect; it’s just a number that is not necessarily related to performance or ability.”

Ramos went on to express his envy for players like Lionel Messi, Pepe and Luka Modric who continue to be trusted by their national teams despite their age, and also produce results on the field.

“I admire and envy players like Modrić, Messi and Pepe. They are the essence of tradition, values, meritocracy and justice in football.”

The Spanish Federation’s decision seems to be centred around the idea of building around a young core and phasing out the previous generation. Ramos is not the only veteran who will never don a red shirt again, with even Sergio Busquets announcing his retirement after the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Yet, one feels for the former Real Madrid man who did not even get the chance to represent his side in Qatar. Ramos will go down in history as one of football’s greatest-ever defenders and will see his name engraved in gold for the Spanish National Team.

In his illustrious career with La Roja, the centre-back amassed a whopping 180 caps with two Euro titles and one FIFA World Cup to his name. He leaves the stage as Spain’s most-capped player in history and as the highest-scoring defender in international history with 23 goals.

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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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