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Cristiano Ronaldo completes 80m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid
Published : 26 Jun 2009 21:14:00
Madrid have been closely linked with the Portugal international for a number of seasons but they now seem to have got their man after putting pen to paper on the £80 million transfer that had been agreed with United earlier this month. Although there has not yet been any confirmation that Madrid have agreed personal terms with Ronaldo himself, that appears only to be a formality with the Spanish giants announcing that the 24 year-old will be presented at the start of next month. Related Articles'United right to sell Ronaldo'Ronaldo can handle Real pressureUnited can't afford 'Ronaldo replacement'Man Utd Transfer TalkSport on televisionRonaldo closer to Real dealA statement on Madrid's website read: "Real Madrid and Manchester United have signed a final agreement for the transfer of the rights of Cristiano Ronaldo from July 1. "The player will be tied to Real Madrid for the next six seasons and will be presented on July 6 at the Santiago Bernabeu." United said on their website: "Cristiano Ronaldo's departure is all but done and dusted after Real Madrid and Manchester United finalised the agreement for his transfer on Friday evening. "The Portuguese winger was the subject of a world record £80 million offer from the Spanish club on Thursday 11 June. He has since been on holiday but a return to work with new employers now beckons, with the sale set to be completed on Wednesday 1 July." The deal for Ronaldo means Madrid will break the world record transfer fee for the fourth time - all sanctioned by president Florentino Perez. During Perez's first tenure in the position, from 2000-2006, Madrid signed Luis Figo from Barcelona for £37 million in 2000 and then a year later brought in Zinedine Zidane from Juventus for £46million. Then just a week after returning to the presidency at the start of this month, Perez captured the signing of Brazilian ace Kaka from AC Milan for a fee reportedly in the region of £59 million. Perez and Madrid have now smashed all of those price tags though by bringing Fifa World Player of the Year Ronaldo to Spain. Fridat night's announcement ends a pursuit that started a number of years ago and came to a head last summer when barely a day went by when Madrid's chase of Ronaldo was not in the news. However, Madrid, under then president Ramon Calderon, not only failed to land Ronaldo last year but they soured their relationship with United in the process, culminating in Sir Alex Ferguson famously stating they would not sell the Iberian outfit "a virus". It has been a completely different story this summer though, with Perez, who masterminded the arrival of David Beckham from Old Trafford in 2003, quickly smoothing over any existing problems with United and agreeing a deal for Ronaldo. Ronaldo, who has never made a secret of his dream to one day play for Madrid, joined United back in 2003 from Sporting Lisbon for £12.24 million and was given the number seven shirt vacated by Beckham. He won the FA Cup in his first season and, though he impressed with his skills, was often criticised for a lack of end product. In the 2006-07 season he won his first Premier League title, and also claimed the PFA Young Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards. But it was the 2007-08 season which defined him as one of the greatest players in the world game. He scored 42 goals in all competitions, including the opener in the Champions League final win over Chelsea, as United claimed a domestic and European double. That year brought with it the Ballon d'Or and Fifa World Player of the Year awards. Whilst Ronaldo this year did not quite hit the heights of his last campaign, he again impressed as United won the Premier League and Club World Cup. Aside from Ronaldo and Kaka, Madrid have also brought in Manuel Pellegrini as coach this summer and yesterday clinched the signing of Valencia defender Raul Albiol for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around 15 million euros (£12.8 million). To accommodate all the new arrivals Madrid also know they must let some players go and tonight they announced they had reached an agreement with Benfica that will see Javier Saviola move to the Portuguese club. Saviola joined Madrid from Barcelona in 2007 but has been little more than a bit-part player at the Bernabeu, starting less than 20 league games during his two seasons at the club. The 27 year-old Argentina international has also played for Sevilla and Monaco in Europe having moved to Barcelona from River Plate in 2001. Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure has signed a one-year contract extension with the European champions. Toure's new deal ties him to the club until June 30, 2012 and includes a new buy-out clause of 100 million euros, the Catalan giants confirmed on Friday night. "What's important is to play at a great club and Barca is the club in which I want to play. This is the shirt in which I want to play," said Toure on his club's website. "My will is to end my career here, but I have to continue showing that I can play at the level of this club." The 26 year-old international, who had been linked with a possible move to England over the last six months, became the first player from the Ivory Coast to represent Barca after moving to the Nou Camp from Monaco in 2007. Last season Toure, the younger brother of Arsenal defender Kolo, helped Barca become the first Spanish side to win the treble of Primera Division, Copa del Rey and European Cup. Barca president Joan Laporta said after Toure had committed his future to the club: "It's a great day for Barca because we have extended the contract of one of the best midfielders in the world."