So Cristiano Ronaldo is going to Real Madrid after all.
After months, dare I say years, of speculation, the Portuguese international is finally leaving Old Trafford. I was expecting my compatriot to go to the Bernabeu, and I predicted as much in a recent blog, but I am still surprised the offer was accepted so quickly.
I am also surprised that Florentino Perez has pockets deep enough to go for Kaka and Cristiano in the same week! We're talking about spending over $200 million on both players.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/11/art.ronaldo.jpg caption="Ronaldo seems certain to be wearing the white of Real Madrid next season."]
As far as how much he is worth, $130 million is an astronomical fee, but if Ronaldo were going to move, the transfer deal was always going to be a world record.
I mean, if Kaka went for $90 million, then the reigning FIFA World Footballer of the Year would command a larger sum. That makes sense. Whether any human being is worth that much, that is a whole other question. Especially in this current economic climate.
This transfer represents a significant loss not only for Manchester United, but also for the Premier League. From a sporting and financial point of view.
It would be fair to say that Ronaldo has been the competition's most recognizable and marketable star around the globe in the last few years and league officials will be disappointed that they won't be able to use the Portuguese star to sell their brand anymore.
England's top flight generates more revenue than any other, but if losing a player of Ronaldo's magnitude will surely affect their future broadcasting deals. With the 24 year-old winger gone, Premier League officials will now try to increase the media appeal of other stars like Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres.
For Spain's La Liga, it's a unquestionably a coup and this move could signal a shift in power in the world of football. In recent seasons, England have dominated the transfer market with its top clubs attracting the globe's top players.
With Ronaldo following Kaka to the Bernabeu on the back of Barcelona winning the European Cup, the spotlight has shifted to Spain. A trend that will continue? If Real continue to spend, with David Villa rumoured to be their next target, it's indeed possible. England could even be overtaken by Italy with Inter and AC Milan ready to dish out the cash.
Watch this space...