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Real Madrid sets record transfer fee

The BBC reports that Manchester United has accepted an offer of £80 m ($131m US) from Real Madrid for the services of Ronaldo. This is on the heels of Kaka moving to Madrid from AC Milan for a reported £56m earlier this week. The combined annual wage bill of Kaka and Ronaldo will top £25m as well. The record spending seems incongruous to me, with the Spanish economy in shambles (the unemployment rate is over 17%, twice the EU average) and one major Spanish club, Valencia on the verge of bankruptcy. Regardless, Next season's clashes with Barcelona in El Clasico should be interesting.

Update: CNN's headline to its report is "Real Madrid defy economic gloom to buy success." There is interesting discussion and speculation on whether they'll receive an immediate return on their investment.