June 11th, 2009
05:09 PM ET

Ronaldo transfer saga finally over

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...

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. softmelon

    I only hope United can secure a talent such as Ribery and keep a talent like Tevez. Ribery will maintain an attacking approach but without the drama queen antics of Ronaldo.

    June 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  2. Gathuki

    Pedro,I think for once you got it wrong.Spending that kinda money to buy players that clubs bought for an eighth or a tenth of the sum is not financial power,its misuse of resources.Real Madrid are eventually going to have to pay the piper.Look at how many coaches they have gone through in the recent past?There is something called discipline in all matters results oriented,be it financial or footballing.Yes Real Madrid have an awesome financial system in place.Yes they enjoy the tacit backing of the Spanish royalty and maybe its government.But some of their actions have to be called what they are.Recklessness.Look at Barcelona.Their coach?Home boy.Their squad?Mostly home bred.Real Madrid can't even get the best out of the players they sign,partly I think out of fickleness.Look at how well Eto'o has done at Barcelona.Sustainability and prudence is key to the success of any business model.Real Madrid are being taken for a ride by everyone,they'll be buying ball boys next.It'll come a cropper.Ask Newcastle.

    June 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  3. tuge

    Can Barcelona really afford to let go of a striker of Eto'o's consistent calibre? A comparatively less versatile striker like Zlatan will hardly ever attain the distinguished apogee of Eto'o's illustrious career. Eto'o will go to Italy to win even bigger trophies for Inter, and to lively up the Italian league with his goal scoring prowess. Without Eto'o Barca will obviously loose steam.

    June 11, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  4. Alex

    Gathuki, I think you're wrong about that. You seem to forget many key players in Real Madrid that are "home boys", like Casillas or Raúl. And you mentioned Eto'o, who is definitely not a homeboy for Barcelona, as well as all the Brasilian players in the team. Both teams are cash machines that work in the same way – only that Barcelona is a much dirtier player (Barcelona was paying the soccer team of Mallorca to win Real Madrid just so Real Madrid wouldn't get any points in the last game of the season a few years ago).

    The question should not be which team is better or the business model they are using is more efficient – it's immoral to spend $ 130 million on a player. This comes to all the larger sums of money and any team in the world. Imagine what any NGO or even the UN could do with the same amount of money.

    June 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  5. ken Sanders, Vancouver, Canada

    This stuff makes me absolutely sick when these horrendous refugee camps exist throughout the world. Millions of homeless people living like animals.

    June 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  6. Robocop

    Well... bad luck for Manchester, seems like they want badly Ribery and he already sign a contract with Florentino Perez with a compromise to stay in Bayern Munchen until Real Madrid bring him... About Cristiano Ronaldo... everyone knows how much he wanted to go to Real Madrid, it was his dream, his mother dream and his dad dream, now it comes true.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  7. Patrick

    I disagree with the assumption that Madrid's extravagance is going to end up catching up to them. As a Real Madrid fan, if there's anything the Galacticos Era showed, it's that Florentino Perez knows how to make money. He turned record transfers into cash cows for the club and he still did win a Champions league and two Ligas. Although it was disappointing as a fan, it was still beautiful football. I think the signings could put us over the top, but at the very least Real will come out of these next few years without a huge debt like the English clubs and Valencia.

    June 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  8. nabeel

    loss of ronaldo is a big blow for manchester united but it was destined to happen ,,, but no one knew that it wwill sooo soon in the start of trnsfer window ,,,,,
    manchester united now need to bring in expirience starts not some young talent again like anderson and wait for them to blossom
    they need players who can make a immediate impact
    anonio valencia same as nani(not a good deal)
    for once i beg sir alex fergusson to please buy a star player with expirience not like the lazy berba
    riberykarim benzema as ronaldo is leaving and please keep tevez
    sell berba

    June 12, 2009 at 3:45 am | Reply
  9. Jordan

    Call it reckelessness but that's what the footballing world thinks Ronaldo is worth. it's not Real's fault alone. This is just a culmination of what the fans and the media etc have made of Cristiano. He may not be the last. Did you ever hear what Barca said about how much anyone willing to buy Messi should be ready to pay? Someone one day wil dream up plan and come up to say they want Messi for $150m. dont be shocked!! When there is too much competition that' what becomes of sports

    June 12, 2009 at 5:36 am | Reply
  10. T.ASTON

    With regard to the comments of Sir Alex,
    perhaps he feels he has sold Real Madrid a virus!

    With regard to the comments of Mr. platini,
    the amount paid has to be proportional to the expected future revenue from the individual.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:49 am | Reply
  11. Jordan

    is Barca full of home grown players? I am just wondering: Messi, Yaya, Alves, Marques, Henry, Abidal, Pique, Eto'o, Silvinho, Keita. Home grown indeed!!

    June 12, 2009 at 7:19 am | Reply
  12. Ed

    i think you should take your political disposition elsewhere, football is a sport and a business. You wanna talk about your homeboys? You know that wasn't always the case and yes Barca have been flat out dirty in the past but nobody knows or talks about it....

    June 12, 2009 at 8:45 am | Reply
  13. Tapi

    I think Real will in the not so distant future prove to be the MC Hammer of football,what they have is an unsustainable business model ,the modern day titanic if you will..they are going about it the wrong way ...splashing money like that is not only inflationary but also ill advised in these dire times...Watch the Titanic Sink..

    June 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  14. Michael Adjei-Djan

    There's a certain David Conn who writes for World Soccer, and who always describes Roman Abramovich's wealth in disparaging terms, for buying players at astronomical prices. i'm waiting to hear his comments on the latest happenings at the Bernabeau.
    His hatred dor Abramovich's wealth is sour grapes i think

    June 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  15. Davei

    Ronaldo will be sorely missed at Manchester United although his attitude was questionable, he was such a joy to watch and the amount of goals and points he won for us will be almost impossible to replace.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  16. Chao

    I was extremely exciting when I heard this news. Combining the Real and CR7 will start a new epic in the near future even without KaKa. Also, spanish league grabs the top rank in the whole world again, which represents the back of the tec and sexy soccer. Where amazing happens in spain~

    June 12, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  17. Olalekan John Adisa

    The spending spree style introduced by Real madrid board can be seen as a challenge of ideas and also as an essential economy boost to the world of football at this time of recession.
    If well capitalised on by the various bodies associated with the game by bringing in more grassroots oriented investors.
    It will make football more merry.

    June 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  18. Jose

    Hi all,
    I really agree with all of you that say that is a huge quantity.
    But, is it too much ? What does "too much" means?
    Comparing with the money that costs a film is not a lot of money; and comparing his salary with the money that earns Will Smith or Brad Pit or Angelina Jolie, Tiger Woods...
    And what about all this people that talks about a "market break"...!
    Why? , the same thing will say those clubs that don't have 30 million € to buy a "normal" player..!
    Do you remember Albert Einstein, don't you?
    The theory of relativity.
    Regards from Spain.


    June 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  19. Michael Morgan

    Even fools can earn money BUT it takes a wise man to spend it.

    June 13, 2009 at 3:38 am | Reply
  20. Josep


    Nobody is saying that all Barça players are homegrown. Yet Pique and Messi (since age 13) clearly are.

    June 15, 2009 at 8:53 am | Reply
  21. trevon

    yeah Man U make stars but madrid buy them so no doubt ronaldo`s
    session is closed looking forward to players with major manners n not
    milk drinkers .
    United always bounce back.

    June 15, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Reply

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