Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 remains the most expensive in football history, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.
Football Leaks caused a worldwide stir last week after they appeared to publish the original transfer document from Gareth Bale's move to the same club in 2013. It revealed the final fee to be €100,759,417, which is more than the alleged €97m that Ronaldo cost. You can read the full story here.
However, Marca say that the claim that Bale's fee was greater than Ronaldo's is untrue, not because the leaked transfer documents are fake, but because Ronaldo actually cost more than €97m.
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When Ronaldo originally joined from Manchester United, Real Madrid took the option to pay €72m of the €97m across three installments. They had to take out a loan on that €72m, which, of course, accumulated interest when paying them back.
As a result, including all interest on payments, Ronaldo eventually cost a total of €104.7m, making him, once again, the most expensive footballer in history, albeit by some pretty far-fetched technicalities.
Marca, a Madrid-based newspaper, have a vested interest in keeping both Real Madrid and Ronaldo happy. And both the man himself and the club seem desperate to make sure the Portuguese star retains his title.
One prominent journalist from The Times, Jonathan Northcroft, recently claimed that Bernabeu officials had asked him to neglect to mention Bale's transfer fee in one of his articles, purely because it would displease Ronaldo.
But while Marca's claims may well be legitimate, it shows how complicated transfer fees can be, especially when they involve the kind of figures we are currently discussing. In the end, it seems Bale's and Ronaldo's fees were pretty much the same.
Do you think they can they agree to just share the title? Bale, perhaps; Ronaldo, no chance.
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