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Is Real Madrid's iconic stadium about to be renamed the Abu Dhabi Bernabéu?

An agreement with a company in the UAE will lead to the change.

Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

ACCORDING TO REPORTS in the Spanish media, Real Madrid are preparing to change the name of their iconic stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu .

Last October, the club signed a deal with Abu Dhabi’s semi-state organisation International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). According to Spanish football journalist Sid Lowe, the agreement centred on IPIC assisting Madrid with redevelopment of their home ground.

The details haven’t been made public, but it’s believed the club is being paid €3m per year until work on the Bernabéu begins. It’s being reported that the company will then pay €20m a year for 20 years as part of the arrangement.

The story was carried in sports newspaper AS.

Late last year, Madrid president Florentino Perez was caught on camera saying the stadium would be called whatever the Abu Dhabi company wanted.

The latest reports are suggesting Abu Dhabi Bernabéu is the front-runner.

Originally opened in 1947 and named after the club’s legendary former player and administrator, the Bernabéu has hosted four European Cup finals and one World Cup decider in 1982.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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