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Former Real Madrid chief Ramon Calderon stands by 80m fee for Cristiano Ronaldo
Published : 29 Jul 2009 11:06:14
Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has defended the £80million fee he agreed with Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo last year. The Spanish giants have spent close to £200m this summer, getting the second Florentino Perez era up and running by bringing in the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema. Calderon left the Bernabeu in January but had already set in place a deal to sign World Player of the Year Ronaldo from Manchester United at the end of the 2008/09 season. 'I don't know if someone will think it's too much, others will think it's a reasonable amount of money for a great player like Cristiano Ronaldo,' he told BBC Radio Five Live. 'For example, 12,000 euros is a year's salary for people here in Spain but I could spend that on a bottle of wine. 'It depends on what you expect from that investment. It's true Real Madrid is able to do that because we manage the money in the right way. 'Around 200million euros we had as income when I became president, now 415million euros income. I left 100m euros in the bank and the profit of 115million and that's why we can spend our money, or I think it's better to say invest.' Among all the high-profile galactico signings, a Spanish core remains at the Bernabeu including the likes of Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos and Raul. But Calderon (right) hinted his successor could be on a collision course with club stalwart Raul, saying: 'He's an icon of Real Madrid fans, been here for I think 17 years. The present president wasn't too much in love with him when he left.' Calderon believes new Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini will have his work cut out trying to cope with the weight of expectation in the Spanish capital. 'It's very difficult to be anything in Real Madrid - president, trainer, player... it's a very difficult club to adapt to,' he said. 'Because of the expectation, the pressure of the media here. There are two newspapers every day with let's say 24, 25 pages of Real Madrid. It's too much pressure.' Arch rivals Barca completed an unprecedented treble last term of Primera Division, Copa del Rey and Champions League glory, but Calderon reckons they may regret letting go of Samuel Eto'o. The Cameroon frontman has left for Inter Milan with Zlatan Ibrahimovic heading in the opposite direction. 'Barcelona is very strong,' Calderon said. 'They showed that last season. The same team plus Ibrahimovic, a very good player... I don't know how Eto'o's leaving is going to affect them. 'He was very important last season, he scored 30-something goals. I don't know if Ibrahimovic is going to do the same work he did - a lot of pressure on the defence, not only the 30 goals he scored but also the pressure.' Calderon also sounded a note of caution to big-spending Manchester City, warning it takes more than big names to make up a good team. He said: 'I feel the players are not very happy going there, a club not playing in the Champions League, a club starting. 'Very good players want not only money, they want a good project, want to play for titles. I don't know if Manchester City can do that - maybe. 'You have to take into account not only good players make a good team. If you manage to put it all together it can work.'