Friday, July 31, 2009

European summer signings set new transfers heights


This year's off-season is proving to be one of the most exciting and expensive when it comes to star players' transfers.

Spanish giants Real Madrid and England's nouveau riche outfit Manchester City are taking the transfer market by storm with some mega bids that could change football's face for years to come.

With six weeks till the end of the transfer window, Real already broke two records by signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United for £80 million and Kaka from AC Milan for £68.5 million.

The previous record was similarly broken by Los Merengues when they signed Zinedine Zidane from Juventus for £46 million in 2001.

With the addition of striker Karim Benzema from Lyon for around £30 million, Real's shopping bill has already exceeded £150 million and they are still in the hunt for more players.

City have so far signed Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz for nearly £30 million, but they are trying to lure Chelsea defender John Terry with a salary of over £300 thousand a week.

Many believe that the Real and City are setting crippling transfer measures for other clubs in the continent, but Kaka himself is convinced that the players bought are worth every penny.

"If Real Madrid have decided to pay so much money for us it is because we are worth it, isn't it? Because we have shown it with our football in recent years," the 27-year-old says.

"We are in a sport which pays these kinds of figures and within this sphere it could be that we are worth this investment."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson disagrees with the 2007 World player of the year.



The Scot, who paid £30.7 million to bring Dimitar Berbatov from Tottenham last summer, knows that his club can't afford to match Real Madrid's bids.

"Everywhere in England and in Europe the players' values have shot sky high. I don't think any of the transfers that you see happening are realistic," Ferguson bemused.

"It is a very unusual summer and difficult to get value because of that. Manchester United always had to pay a bit extra to get players. But this summer we're not prepared to do this," he added.

Ferguson is not the only one who's not happy at Real's astronomical bids. Bayern Munich honorary chairman Franz Beckenbauer considered some of the transfers as acts of madness.

"These sums of money are ridiculous. But there is always some lunatic who walks around throwing money away," the former Germany and Bayern legend said.


Whether coaches like it or not, Real's signings have forced everyone to play by the new rules, and if clubs like United can't afford raising prices then many others won't be able to buy any quality players in the near future.

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