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Real launch lucrative Emirates deal

Florentino Perez said Real Madrid was honoured to be linked with Emirates Airlines as the club launched their new 2013-14 kit on Thursday.

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Perez and Madrid's first-team squad - but not outgoing coach Jose Mourinho - were present at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu as the new jerseys were shown off to reporters, photographers and dignitaries who included Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum of Dubai.

The deal with Emirates, which is worth a reported €30 million per year, runs until the end of the 2017-18 season.

"We want a strong Real Madrid and part of that comes through alliances with large companies," Perez told the club's official website. "Today we are making this alliance with the world's most important airline and it is an alliance for the present and for the future.

"Emirates become Real Madrid's new main sponsor. Two global brands and two leading organisations. This is one of the club's most important decisions. It is an honour to link the Emirates name to Real Madrid's because they are a perfect partner and ally and we are both in the permanent search of victory."

According to Madrid's statement Perez presented Sheikh Al Maktoum with a framed shirt containing his name and the number one, while the chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Emirates Group reciprocated with a model of his company's flagship aircraft, which they both signed on each one of its two wings.

The Madrid chief said the newly announced commercial partnership strengthened all parties involved.

"From today we will share one of the club's great legendary symbols, which is the Real Madrid shirt; the same that has achieved feats, exploits and unique titles," he said. "The shirt that represents dedication, talent, effort and also solidarity; a shirt that is now also your shirt. Impossible is nothing. Together we are stronger and we will achieve the aims that we aspire to."

Perez looks set to be confirmed for another term as Blancos president next week, as no other candidates have come forward to challenge him in an election provisionally set for June 16. The construction magnate has talked regularly about the importance of the financial security he has brought to the Bernabeu club, which Deloitte said last year was the first to raise its annual turnover past the €500 million mark.

Few in Spain doubt his commercial acumen, however some pundits have begun to question his recruitment of players and coaches. Under his two terms to date as president the club have won just five of the 29 major trophies on offer, while spending approximately €900 million on transfers and wages.

Madrid's La Liga rivals Barcelona also have a shirt sponsorship deal with partners from the Middle East, with the Catalan club earning a reported €30 million annualy through their deal with Qatar Foundation.

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