Remember the 70's TV show, "The Six Million Dollar Man"? Lee Majors as Steve Austin, rebuilt for that startling amount. Six million is nothing compared to what just happened in the high stakes world of European Football (soccer).
Cristiano Ronaldo is a 24-year-old superstar. For the past few years he's been one of the best, if not the best in the English Premier League, if not the world. He's a lightning-fast magician with the ball at his feet. He's deadly accurate with free kicks and he always seems to be in the right place at the right time to put the ball in the net. He does all that for Manchester United, so I can't stand him! Man U is a top rival of my favorite team, Liverpool. But there's no denying that Ronaldo is as good as it gets.
Now he's going to Spanish Soccer Superpower Real Madrid, for 80 Million Pounds (in the afternoon, on June 11th, that's 132.653 million in dollars.) That's just what's called a transfer fee. It's the money Real Madrid will give Manchester United for Ronaldo. Real Madrid still has to pay him. The Times is reporting that the player will make 107 million pounds ($177 million) over six years. Wow! But that's really not all that unusual for pro sports around the world. It's the transfer fee that's staggering.
So the question is, where does all this stop. As a Liverpool fan, I'm thrilled that Man U will no longer have Ronaldo. On the other hand it means Man U. manager Sir Alex Furguson (yes, that's "Sir", as in, knighted by the Queen for being a great football manager) can pick up 4 to 6 WORLD CLASS players with his new Ronaldo money.
For some perspective, Liverpool paid a club record 20.6 million pounds for their top striker Fernando Torres. Liverpool and Man U both have American owners. Some other teams are owned by billionaires from Russia and the Middle East. They have very very deep pockets.
So where does all this stop? How much is one player worth? Where do you draw the line?
For now, you draw it at $132.653 million. 133 anyone?
We'll talk again soon.
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