SHARE
COPY LINK

FOOTBALL

Real Madrid stadium revamp to start when season ends

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said on Tuesday the club hope to begin the revamp of the Santiago Bernabeu as soon as the current season finishes.

Real Madrid stadium revamp to start when season ends
Photo: REAL MADRID

The new design of Madrid's stadium will cost around €500 million ($560 million) and includes a retractable roof and pitch, as well as a metal envelope around the outside, which will be able to project images and videos.

“The plan has been approved,” said Perez on Tuesday, during an unveiling at the ground, also attended by the Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena.   

“That's why I want you to know that next week, we will sign the final contract and during the month of April we will begin allocating the projects with the aim of starting as soon as possible when this season finishes.”

Madrid's final home match of the campaign is against Real Betis and scheduled for May 19th.

The Santiago Bernabeu's capacity of just over 81,000 seats is not due to increase but a number of technological advancements will be made.   

As well as the eye-catching new roof, there will be improvements to security, access, shopping and eating facilities, the club museum and areas surrounding the stadium.

“We want it to be an iconic stadium for the future,” Perez continued.   

“We will fund it from the money we will make from the new stadium. We want Real Madrid to be competitive in what is now a new landscape of world football,” he added.

The plan is for the project to be completed within three and a half years and without disrupting the team's calendar.   

Perez said in September the club would take out a loan of up to 575 million euros ($644 million) without “any impact on sporting activity”.   

He said the new stadium was expected to generate an extra 150 million ($168 million) euros in revenue per year.

By AFP's Thomas Allnutt

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

Putellas becomes second Spanish footballer in history to win Ballon d’Or

Alexia Putellas of Barcelona and Spain won the women's Ballon d'Or prize on Monday, becoming only the second Spanish-born footballer in history to be considered the best in the world, and claiming a win for Spain after a 61-year wait.

FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award.
FC Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas poses after being awarded thewomen's Ballon d'Or award. Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Putellas is the third winner of the prize, following in the footsteps of Ada Hegerberg, who won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or in 2018, and United States World Cup star Megan Rapinoe, winner in 2019.

Putellas captained Barcelona to victory in this year’s Champions League, scoring a penalty in the final as her side hammered Chelsea 4-0 in Gothenburg.

She also won a Spanish league and cup double with Barca, the club she joined as a teenager in 2012, and helped her country qualify for the upcoming Women’s Euro in England.

Her Barcelona and Spain teammate Jennifer Hermoso finished second in the voting, with Sam Kerr of Chelsea and Australia coming in third.

It completes an awards double for Putellas, who in August was named player of the year by European football’s governing body UEFA.

But it’s also a huge win for Spain as it’s the first time in 61 years that a Spanish footballer – male or female – is crowned the world’s best footballer of the year, and only the second time in history a Spaniard wins the Ballon d’Or. 

Former Spanish midfielder Luis Suárez (not the ex Liverpool and Barça player now at Atlético) was the only Spanish-born footballer to win the award in 1960 while at Inter Milan. Argentinian-born Alfredo Di Stefano, the Real Madrid star who took up Spanish citizenship, also won it in 1959.

Who is Alexia Putellas?

Alexia Putellas grew up dreaming of playing for Barcelona and after clinching the treble of league, cup and Champions League last season, her status as a women’s footballing icon was underlined as she claimed the Ballon d’Or on Monday.

Unlike the men’s side, Barca’s women swept the board last term with the 27-year-old, who wears “Alexia” on the back of her shirt, at the forefront, months before Lionel Messi’s emotional departure.

Attacker Putellas, who turns 28 in February, spent her childhood less than an hour’s car journey from the Camp Nou and she made her first trip to the ground from her hometown of Mollet del Valles, for the Barcelona derby on January 6, 2000.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas (R) vies with VfL Wolfsburg's German defender Kathrin Hendrich
Putellas plays as a striker for Barça and Spain. GABRIEL BOUYS / POOL / AFP

Exactly 21 years later she became the first woman in the modern era to score in the stadium, against Espanyol. Her name was engraved in the club’s history from that day forward, but her story started much earlier.

She started playing the sport in school, against boys.

“My mum had enough of me coming home with bruises on my legs, so she signed me up at a club so that I stopped playing during break-time,” Putellas said last year.

So, with her parent’s insistence, she joined Sabadell before being signed by Barca’s academy.

“That’s where things got serious… But you couldn’t envisage, with all one’s power, to make a living from football,” she said.

After less than a year with “her” outfit, she moved across town to Espanyol and made her first-team debut in 2010 before losing to Barca in the final of the Copa de la Reina.

She then headed south for a season at Valencia-based club Levante before returning “home” in July 2012, signing for Barcelona just two months after her father’s death.

In her first term there she helped Barca win the league and cup double, winning the award for player of the match in the final of the latter competition.

SHOW COMMENTS