Three young Turkish men took the high speed train into Madrid from Barcelona this morning just to see the stadium.
“One player, Mesut Ozil, he’s half Turkish and he speaks the Turkish language!” said Aydin, 24, and his friends affirmed with a nod. “We know all the players. Everyone knows Real Madrid in Turkey. Isn’t it the biggest club in the world?”
Real Madrid ranked number one on Forbes’ list of richest football clubs with a value of $3.3bn (£2.2bn), breaking Manchester United’s streak since 2004. Man Utd came in second place at $3.17bn, Barcelona third ($2.6bn) and Arsenal fourth ($1.33bn).
This achievement means more than a victory for the team. In the midst of one of Spain’s worst economic recessions, it’s uplifting for the country that some businesses are still coming out on top.
The most valuable football club in the world wasn’t always such a big business.
Less than twenty years ago, Real Madrid’s stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, had no seats, and certainly not numbered seats. Lines swerved around the stadium with people camping out for days to get tickets, and the crowd stood for hours to watch the match. Now the stadium hosts 80,000 numbered seats, attracts tourists from around the world, and you can buy tickets online. Continue reading