Ronaldo: I'm worth £80m
Cristiano Ronaldo has said the £80m Real Madrid paid for him is a "fair price" and he is delighted to be the most expensive player in the world. The Portuguese winger will put the finishing touches to his move from Manchester United on Monday night, when he will be officially unveiled as the Spanish giants' latest signing.
Kaka and Raul Albiol have already been presented following their respective moves from AC Milan and Valencia, while Lyon striker Karim Benzema is close to completing his switch as Real's spending spree rapidly approaches the £200m mark. It is the signing of Ronaldo that has captured everyone's attention and imagination, though, as Los Merengues finally got their man this summer to end a transfer saga that has lasted more than two years.
It took an astronomical fee to persuade United to part with the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, and Real have come in for a fair amount of criticism from both inside and outside the footballing community for spending so much money in the current global financial crisis. However, Ronaldo believes the club was justified in paying the fee and also feels he can live up to the price tag.
"I think that it's a fair figure. If Manchester United and Real Madrid agree this amount, then there is nothing more to say," he told Marca. "The great players cost a lot of money, and if you want them you have to pay it. I'm happy to be the most expensive player in the world."
In response to those who have qualms about so much money being spent on one footballer, he added: "I respect everyone's opinions, but I don't agree with these people.
"If Real Madrid have paid so much money, it's because they wanted me and have considered it a fair price. I'm going to try to do everything in my hands to play very well, and I will show that the money they are paying for me has been a good decision."
Ronaldo is the centrepiece of Florentino Perez's revolution, as the returning president looks to take the fallen giants back to the top of the footballing tree. Last season, Real had to watch on in envy as arch-rivals Barcelona won an unprecedented treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League.
Not once in the last five years have the nine-time European champions managed to get past the last 16 in the Champions League. With next season's final being held at the Bernabeu, they will be desperate to go all the way.
Much will be demanded of Ronaldo, but he is confident he can deal with the expectations. "I've been used to having pressure for a long time. In this sense I'm calm," he said.
"This (price tag) isn't something I'm going to think about when I go out on to the pitch, so it's not going to affect me. I know that they are going to demand a lot of me to be successful at the club and I know that I'm going to have much more pressure than at Manchester United, because I was there for many years.
But it means a new challenge and is going to help me be the best footballer. As well as that, Spain is a different league, with different players, a different club, and this is going to motivate me to continue working hard and winning things."