- Juan Manuel Serrano Arce / Getty Images
Real Madrid’s youth system has become a money printing machine for the giant Spanish football club, according to local sports newspaper AS.
The publication analysed the sale of homegrown Real Madrid players and found it has generated €142.8 million (£127 million) in revenue over the past four years.
The income was significantly bolstered by the €80 million (£71.3 million) sale of Álvaro Morata to Chelsea last week. José Callejón’s €10 million (£8.9 million) sale to Napoli in 2013 was another big deal.
Real’s academy player sales outstrip its nearest La Liga rivals, AS said.
In the same time it took Real to make €142.8 million, Atlético Madrid managed just half that – €73 million (£65 million). Barçelona, meanwhile, received just €17 million (£15.15 million) from cashing in on youth products.
Important, particularly as Real is reportedly pursuing 18-year-old French prodigy Kylian Mbappé for a world-record smashing €180 million (£161 million) fee.
Inside the Real youth system
When expenses are taken into account, Real is healthily profitable, according to AS.
- Denis Doyle / Getty Images
Real Madrid’s training facilities in Valdebebas Park is home to up to 60 youth players.
To board and train those players, AS claims it costs Real €33,000 (£29,400) a year per player. This adds up to €2 million (£1.7 million) for 60 players every 12 months. AS further reports that the total running costs of Real’s “Castilla (reserves)” as well as its 12 youth teams is €20 million.
So, theoretically, the €80 million (£71.3 million) Morata sale alone could fund the Real Madrid youth set-up for another four years.
Valdebebas Park, at 1.2 million square metres, is 40 times bigger than Real’s Bernabéu ground.
The complex contains a number of training pitches, four swimming pools, and even a cinema where superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos, and Gareth Bale train and relax.