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Only one Ronaldo: 80m man Cristiano refuses to wear 'C' on his shirt
Published : 15 Jul 2009 18:20:51
Step into line: Cristiano Ronaldo undergoes his Madrid medical in a branded shirt that upset his new club's marketing men Cristiano Ronaldo is already giving the Real Madrid money men a headache by apparently refusing to play ball with their marketing strategy. The Spanish giants pay him £200,000 after tax and give him a 50 per cent share of shirt-sale profits after his £80million transfer from Manchester United made him the world's most expensive player. But the 24-year-old world record transfer from Manchester United is proving he will not be pushed around by a club who have a long-standing tie-up with German sportswear firm adidas. Ronaldo has already raised eyebrows by wearing a massive Nike logo on the T-shirt he wore to his well-publicised Madrid medical. And it has emerged he rejected a plan to have 'C. Ronaldo' on his new No 9 shirt, which would have distinguished him from plain old Ronaldo - the Brazil legend who wore the same shirt until just over three years ago. It is feared that dropping the 'C' means thrifty fans can use their old Madrid merchandise rather than help fund the eye-watering transfer, though it hasn't stopped next season's jersey flying out of the shops. Club president Florentino Perez has reportedly tried to talk Ronaldo into signing with Madrid adidas once his association with Nike has ended, to little avail. Perez prefers his star signings to be adidas affiliated - such as Kaka and Karim Benzema, plus Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham in the past. But Nike saw his transfer as an ambush marketing opportunity rather than a threat and neither they nor Ronaldo intend to tone down their relationship. While Ronaldo's 50-50 sharing of image rights means he must share half the proceeds of new commercial deals, it is understood the Spaniards do not get their hands on earnings from his lucrative pre-existing contract with Nike. The Portugal forward has already shown his marketing savvy. He trademarked 'CR7' while at Manchester United and earlier this year added 'CR9' and 'CR10' to his portfolio ahead of the expected move to Spain. Meanwhile, arguably Madrid's most famous No 9, Alfredo di Stefano is in no doubt who is the best player in the world - and it's not the Bernabeu new boy. Ronaldo may be the current FIFA World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or holder, but Di Stefano believes he has been surpassed by his compatriot Lionel Messi of deadly rivals Barcelona. 'Those who argue don't know anything about football, and I am a lover of football,' he said. A nice welcome from the Madrid honorary president.