Sat, Jul 04, 2009 - Page 18 News List

LFP: Valdano defends Real Madrid’s huge ‘super-production’

AP , MADRID

Real Madrid’s new signing Raul Albiol holds his shirt during his presentation ceremony at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Thursday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano defended the club’s summer spending spree, saying it was necessary to retain its place as the world’s biggest club.

Madrid have spent 214 million euros (US$300 million) on five players, taking on bank loans to fund the 65 million euros purchase of AC Milan’s Kaka and the 94 million euros deal for Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

“You only notice it because we are buying players of the highest caliber,” Valdano said on Thursday, following the presentation of 15 million euros signing Raul Albiol. “The dynamics of our business model have already been proven.”

President Florentino Perez has vowed to return the “galactico” era to Madrid after initiating the first one from 2000-2006 with the blockbuster signings of Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Ronaldo.

UEFA president Michel Platini said on Thursday he wanted to stop clubs like Real Madrid from embarking on spending sprees using borrowed money by changing the entry rules for the Champions League.

Platini has made curbing excessive spending by clubs his top priority in order to maintain their long-term sustainability.

“Real Madrid is able to produce a lot of money,” Valdano said. “Real Madrid is the world’s richest club.”

Spanish building society Caja Madrid issued a loan of 76.5 million euros and Spain’s largest bank Banco Santander has reportedly agreed to lend the same amount.

Real’s president calls his “super-production” an investment rather than gross spending, since replica shirt sales and marketing will recoup the money over the long-term.

Valdano said Madrid would not stop spending, either, with more Spanish players to come. Liverpool pair Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa have been linked with a move to Santiago Bernabeu.

“This is a team that can’t aspire to be in the middle, it’s a team that historically has always aspired to lead and it’s impossible to aspire to lead without the best players in the world,” the former Real Madrid coach said. “We’ve managed to achieve some of the most important signings now. We can now move forward with more calm, but there are still some dream signings to realize.”

Valdano ruled out any U-turn over Valencia striker David Villa after spending 35 million euros on Lyon striker Karim Benzema.

He did leave the door open for Ruud van Nistelrooy to leave the club, after the Netherlands striker was linked with Lyon.

“We’re open to a lot of players speaking to other teams. As always, it depends on the offer that arrives from the club,” the Argentine said.

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