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Florentino Perez planned to move Real Madrid to theme park called 'RealMadridLand', had €1.4billion budget

Josh Lawless

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Florentino Perez planned to move Real Madrid to theme park called 'RealMadridLand', had €1.4billion budget

Florentino Perez had ambitious plans to move Real Madrid away from the Santiago Bernabeu to a new stadium ground located in a theme park.

Real have played at the iconic ground since 1947 but president Perez, a civil engineer billionaire, was desperate to venture into new territory.

His lightbulb moment occurred a while back and there were discussions at board level back in 2004. Fast forward to the 2017/18 campaign and Perez was pushing hard to make it happen.

His thinking was that 'RealMadridland', a headquarters including a Los Blancos theme park, training complex housing all teams and new stadium, would have the same impact as a Galactico signing and go a long way towards keeping the La Liga giants on par with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City when it came to finances.

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As detailed in the new book 'Messi vs Ronaldo: One Rivalry, Two GOATs, and the Era That Remade the World’s Game', relayed by Miguel Delaney in The Independent managed to get Disney's former CEO Michael Eisner, and a slew of ex executives onboard for the game-changing plans.

“In our world, we are as big as Disney,” Perez is quoted as saying by a source in the book.

“Real Madrid must do things like this because we are the number-one club, and the only way we will remain there is by always being the first big innovator.”

Innovative is one way of describing Perez's plans. It's said that he even drew sketches of rollercoasters related to iconic moments in Real's history, including Zinedine Zidane's sublime volley in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

This idea drew inspiration from the Ferrari World amusement park in Abu Dhabi.

One executive made the point that it would be very easy to watch Real train and pick up their tactics, something that Perez played down.

But then there were a number of factors highlighted that led to the demise of the proposal. After a three-month period, the ex Disney figures told Perez he needed €2.5 billion of funding and a site close to 250 cres.

The amount he had for funding was €1.4 billion, with the land just 140 acres - and there was also the issue of Madrid, Spain's capital, already having a Warner theme park in the city.

Image: Alamy
Image: Alamy

Eventually the project was shelved and Perez would then focus on the controversial European Super League not too long after.

Real are renovating the Bernabeu in a £700 million upgrade which has now been pushed back.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy & Real Madrid

Topics: Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, La Liga

Josh Lawless
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