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That’s one expensive Kaka: Real Madrid’s new $94-million man

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International soccer star Kaka, a native of Brazil, has signed a six-year contract with Real Madrid of Spain.

Although details of the transfer aren’t official, reports are that Real Madrid may have paid more than $94 million to purchase the rights to the players from Italy’s AC Milan.

To put that in perspective, Babe Ruth was sold from Boston to New York in 1920 for $125,000, which has the same purchasing power as $1.3 million today -- still a small fraction of Kaka’s reported transfer fee.

Most Americans now consider ‘blockbuster’ deals as player-for-player swaps, but soccer still prefers large sums of money. Very large, in this case -- Kaka may have commanded the largest transfer fee in history. In what may also be a foreign concept to some Americans, Kaka is leaving his old club on excellent terms.

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Real Madrid has a legacy of big-spending, acquiring France’s Zinedine Zidane in 2001 and Portugal’s Luis Figo in 2000 for then-record sums. Collectively, the three stars have cost the club about 200 million euros.

This move may help counter the recent success of FC Barcelona, which won both La Liga and the European Cup this year. Real Madrid won La Liga, Spain’s top division, the previous two seasons.

-- Adam Rose


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