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‘Will have to put my feelings aside’ – Bellingham on facing Borussia Dortmund in UCL final

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

It has been a special debut season for Jude Bellingham at Real Madrid.

Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth €103 million, plus add-ons, last summer, the 20-year-old sensation has become an instant hit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Despite his form declining a bit in the second half of the season, Bellingham has racked up returns of 23 goals and 12 assists from 41 games in all competitions.

A special game for Bellingham

Having won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup, Bellingham now has the chance to end the season in the most epic ways possible by lifting the UEFA Champions League, against his former club, in his homeland.

As such, Saturday’s UCL final at Wembley, against Dortmund, is set to be a special one for the young phenom, and he acknowledged as much during an interview today.

“It’s a very special game for me but I’ll have to put feelings aside. It’s been a great season, they’ve made me feel very welcome and I’ve enjoyed playing football with them,” said Bellingham, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

Bellingham faces his former club in the UCL final. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

When asked if he had been in touch with any of his former Dortmund teammates ahead of Saturday’s showpiece event, Bellingham replied:

“I’ve spoken to Sancho, we said we’d meet there. He took me under his wing when I came to Dortmund and that meant a lot to me.”

On how Real Madrid can win the game

Earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti was asked if he had sought any information from Bellingham to prepare a strategy to beat Borussia Dortmund.

The midfielder himself was asked by the media as to how Real Madrid can get past his former club at Wembley this weekend, to which he replied:

“To win we will have to play at our maximum level, if we are at that level it is very difficult for our opponents. The staff are sure to do a great job analysing Dortmund, I trust them 100 per cent.”

Stressing how it is a dream for him to win the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid, Bellingham remarked:

“Winning the Champions League is the reason I’m here, I always dreamed of playing for this team, and this team is linked to the Champions League. I want to be a small part of their history.”

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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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