Real Madrid Pays Record $65 Million to Get Zidane

From Staff and Wire Reports

French soccer star Zinedine Zidane left Juventus and signed with Real Madrid on Monday, reportedly for a record transfer fee of $65 million.

Zidane, 29, regarded by many as the world's best soccer player, is a two-time FIFA player of the year who led France to the 1998 World Cup.

Neither Zidane nor Real Madrid President Florentino Perez would confirm the amount. But several newspapers, citing sources close to the team's directors, said Juventus would receive about $58 million with the rest going to Zidane's agent, Alain Migliacio.

The transfer broke the $50-million record Real Madrid set when it acquired Luis Figo from Barcelona a year ago.

Zidane reportedly signed a four-year contract with an option for a fifth season and will earn about $5 million a season.

In the first regular-season trade in WUSA history, the San Diego Spirit sent keeper Ulrika Karlsson and defender Kristin Bengtsson, both of Sweden, to the Carolina Courage for keeper Bente Nordby of Norway and defender Wen Lirong of China.

Tennis

Top-seeded Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus was among five seeded players to lose in the opening round of the grass-court Hall of Fame Championships at Newport, R.I.

Voltchkov lost to James Blake, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Among the other upsets were wild card Mardy Fish of the U.S. defeating eighth-seeded Andrei Stoliarov of Russia, 6-4, 5-7, 7-5; fourth-seeded Anthony Dupuis of France losing to Neville Godwin of South Africa, 7-6 (3), 7-5, and fifth-seeded Lars Burgsmuller of Germany losing, 6-3, 6-2, to Martin Lee of Britain.

Sergi Bruguera was eliminated from the $600,000 Swiss Open at Gstaad, losing to Spanish compatriot Alberto Martin, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, in the first round.

Anna Smashnova of Israel eliminated sixth-seeded Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, in the first round of the Uniqua Grand Prix at Vienna.

Pro Football

Louisiana state officials announced that they have agreed in principle with the New Orleans Saints on a financial package that will help keep the league's poorest franchise in the city.

Steve Perry, chief of staff to Gov. Mike Foster, said Louisiana will provide the Saints $12.5 million in guaranteed operating cash to assure the team's financial stability. The state also will continue what has been called "an escalating inducement package" until a new or renovated stadium is functional.

Three armed robbers stole $150,000 worth of jewelry from Will Allen, the New York Giants' first-round draft pick, including an earring they ripped from his ear, police in Syracuse, N.Y., said.

The Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a one-year contract with wide receiver Derrick Mayes, providing a replacement for the injured Sylvester Morris. . . . The Washington Redskins and all-pro kick returner Michael Bates agreed to a two-year contract worth about $1.33 million, including a $100,000 signing bonus. . . . The Tennessee Titans enhanced their offense by agreeing to terms with wide receivers Justin McCareins and Eddie Berlin. . . . The Avengers fired offensive coordinator Terry Karg and will not replace him. Coach Robert Lyles will run the offense the rest of the season.

Miscellany

Marion Jones won the 100-meter dash at the Nikaia Grand Prix in Nice, France, though a swirling wind kept her from posting a fast time. Jones ran 11.25 seconds, considerably slower than her 10.84 in Paris last Friday.

At the same meet, Justyna Bak of Poland shattered the world mark in the women's 3,000 steeplechase, covering the distance in 9 minutes 25.31 seconds. Bak slashed nearly 15 seconds off the record of 9:40.20, set by Romania's Cristina Iloc-Casandra.

Purdue junior running back Steve Ennis was dismissed from the team for "conduct detrimental to the squad," Boilermaker Coach Joe Tiller said. Ennis plans to transfer to Division I-AA Southwest Missouri State.

The Tampa Bay Lightning re-signed free-agent center Brian Holzinger to a multiyear contract. . . . The Carolina Hurricanes acquired Aaron Ward from the Detroit Red Wings for a future second-round draft choice. . . . The Montreal Canadiens re-signed center Craig Darby to a two-year contract. . . . The Calgary Flames signed veteran goalie Kay Whitmore, 34, who went 1-2 in five games with the Boston Bruins after spending most of the season in the minors. . . . The Minnesota Wild re-signed center Pavel Patera and signed free-agent goaltender Martin Brochu. . . . The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed forward Blake Sloan to a multiyear contract.

The Phoenix Suns have signed second-round draft pick Alton Ford Jr. from Houston to a two-year contract. . . . Portland Trail Blazer Coach Maurice Cheeks hired former CBA coach Dan Panaggio to be his first assistant coach. . . . Tony Brown, an assistant coach with the Trail Blazers the last four seasons, has joined the Detroit Pistons in the same capacity.

Indianapolis, Boston and Cleveland have been awarded the women's NCAA Final Four for 2005, 2006 and 2007, respectively.

The U.S. Golf Assn. denied a request to allow Lee Penterman, who has cerebral palsy, to use a cart while serving as caddie for a friend in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at San Antonio.

Hall of Fame golfer Amy Alcott was released from a hospital after chest pains forced her to miss the final round of the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic at Sylvania, Ohio. Alcott, 45, of Santa Monica, requested that hospital officials not disclose information about her symptoms and diagnosis.

Christl Haas, the Austrian skier who won the women's downhill at the 1964 Olympics, drowned while swimming at a Mediterranean resort near Manavgat, Turkey, the Austrian Embassy said. She was 57.

Funeral services for longtime Los Angeles sportswriter Terry Johnson will be held Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Church of the Hill at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Los Angeles-Anaheim chapter of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America for the Terry Johnson Memorial Fund. Donations can be sent to the BBWAA, c/o Dave Daniel, 16541 Gothard St., Suite 101, Huntington Beach, 92647.

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T.J. Simers is on vacation.

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