Blatter defends Ronaldo fee

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Real Madrid's world-record bid to bring Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bernabeu has been defended by the FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Speaking in South Africa ahead of the Confederations Cup, which is set to kick off on Sunday, the football supremo dismissed any fears over the Spanish giants' £80million bid for the Manchester United midfielder, insisting that it proved the game's ever-improving popularity.

"We are in a very sensitive market nowadays, because there is an economic crisis," he said. "But in football, if we are in a good market, it means that football is a good product, not just to buy or sell but a product that gives people what they want, which is emotions."

He added: "This is the game of the people and they need stars. Okay, it is a lot of money, but he is performing."

The FIFA World Player of the Year is finally set to join Real after his current employers accepted a bid on Thursday following protracted speculation since last summer.

The offer came only days after the club's ambitious new president Florentino Perez completed another massive signing in the form of Brazil ace Kaka from AC Milan for a reported fee of £56million.

Blatter said that this trend was nothing new, pointing to the transfer of another Brazilian superstar, Ronaldo, who moved to the same club a few years back, as the perfect example.

He continued: "Look, there was a case 10 years ago when there was a contract made by a player going from one Spanish club to another Spanish club and he had the same name at the time, and it was USD 50 million?.

"So what is £80 million now? That means there is still demand to have a star."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo

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