Hidden amongst the reasons of Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid is an important element which should have a significant impact on transfers to the Premier League, namely the UK’s coming 50% tax rate on earners of more than £150,000. That, combined with a weaker pound, is making destinations such as Spain more attractive to top footballers looking for a big payday.
Now that the unthinkable (but extremely predictable) transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid ise set to go through at the end of June, much is being made of Manchester United’s losses. With Carlos Tévez set to leave as well, it seems United will be lacking two of their major attacking players next season. That, coupled with the Champions League final loss to Barcelona, appears to herald an era of decline for possibly the world’s biggest club. But it may not be true.
This Kaká business got me thinking about team building. This whole “galáticos” concept has been making the rounds for decades. Even the Real Madrid of the 1950s with Alfredo DiStéfano, Ferenc Puskás and Paco Gento was built on that concept. But if one team is to blame more than any other, I think it’s the 1970 Brazilian World Cup squad, And the biggest problem with them is that they won.
In the first huge salvo of the arms race otherwise known as the football transfer market, Real Madrid purchased Kaká from AC Milan for more money than you will likely ever see in your lifetime. And the shopping has barely begun …