Real Madrid lands Cristiano Ronaldo, approaches a quarter of a billion dollars on two players

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George Steinbrenner, who built the New York Yankees with lavish spending, looks like a cheapskate compared with Real Madrid lately.

According to European media reports, the soccer club will spend $131.7 million to purchase the rights to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo just days after spending $94 million for Brazil’s Kaka. Add it up and the club is dropping more than $225 million -- not counting salaries -- to procure two of the best players in the sport. Ronaldo was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008. Kaka won in 2007.


There’s already skepticism from Real Madrid’s archrival, FC Barcelona, over whether the club can afford to spend so much. Real Madrid has recently acknowledged having significant debt.

Imagine if NBA rules allowed the Boston Celtics to buy Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. It’s not a perfect analogy since neither of the soccer players are locked in a greatest-of-all-time debate, but you get the idea. Scary.

-- Adam Rose