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Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 18:09 UK

Ronaldo confident of Real switch

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo expects to successfully complete a medical before joining Real Madrid

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo says he expects his record £80m move from Manchester United to Real Madrid to go through, despite a minor hernia injury.

The 24-year-old winger told Fox Sports in the US: "I do not require surgery. The hernia is nothing to worry about.

"I learned about the deal on holiday and heard that United have accepted. Madrid want to have a medical team look at me, but that's as expected."

Emerging reports suggest a deal to take Ronaldo to Real has long been in place.

The Spanish giants conducted a long - and public - pursuit of the winger throughout last summer, only to see a potential deal fall through.

WORLD PRESS REACTION
Spain's Marca: "The signing of the century."
Spain's AS: "Praise is mixed with criticism for the price, a new world record."
Spain's El Mundo: "Madrid pay for Ronaldo 57 times his weight in gold."
Spain's El Pais: "Florentino Perez lives in another galaxy."
Portugal's Record: "Real Madrid spend 94m euros for Ronaldo in times of crisis."
Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport: "That's not fair. Mad Real. After Kaka, Real Madrid sign Cristiano Ronaldo."
France's L'Equipe: ""Benzema's turn?"
America's Los Angeles Times: "The hair-gel industry in north-west England suffered a catastrophic blow on Thursday."

Their conduct appeared to anger United, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson in particular, and the club even reported Real to Fifa over their approaches.

Ramon Calderon, Real president at the time, later attempted to smooth over the apparent rift, saying: "We don't want to get into trouble with them as they are one of the biggest clubs in the world."

However, Calderon - who resigned as Real president in January - has told BBC Radio 5 Live that it was agreed between all parties at the time that Ronaldo would move to the Bernabeu this summer.

"Last season, Manchester United decided not to do it because they thought it was too early," he said. "Everyone involved in the operation agreed to do it this season. That is what I can say."

And that view is supported by Juande Ramos, the former Tottenham boss who managed Real Madrid for six months from December last year.

"Am I surprised (that Ronaldo is joining Real Madrid)? No, because I knew it would happen at some stage," he told 5 Live.

"We already knew that Real Madrid had a pre-contract agreement with Cristiano Ronaldo and that it was only a matter of time.

"I don't know exactly when that agreement was made, but I do know it was in place."

Ronaldo gave little clue about any pre-contract agreement, though, when talking about the move from his holiday base in Los Angeles - to where Madrid officials will fly to conduct a medical before the transfer is completed.

FOOTBALL BLOG
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

"It's flattering when two of the top teams in the world want you to play for them," said the 2008 Fifa Player of the Year, who has yet to finalise personal terms with Real.

"The deal is historic - £80m is quite a sum of money."

Should, as expected, the deal be concluded by 30 June, Ronaldo would report for training on 10 July ahead of a pre-season training camp in Dublin, Ireland, which will include a friendly.

The La Liga giants will then compete in the Peace Cup in Spain, where their opponents include Aston Villa and Celtic, before heading to Canada, where they will face Toronto FC, and Washington, for a game against DC United.

A United statement on Thursday revealed the record bid was accepted after Ronaldo had "again expressed his desire to leave".

And a spokesman for United's owners, the Glazer family, insisted that the decision to sell Ronaldo was taken solely by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The spokesman told the BBC: "It was purely a football decision and had nothing to do with the financial structure of the club."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter said on Friday that he had no problem with the size of the transfer fee, despite the global economic downturn.

"It means that our product is still a good product. If this is the game of the people, they need stars," he said.

"OK, it is a lot of money, but he is performing. In football, we are still in a good market."

However, Uefa president Michel Platini labelled the world record fee as "excessive", adding: "These transfers are a serious challenge to the idea of fairplay and the concept of financial balance in our competitions."

And chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor, believes football has to be mindful of such large transfer fees given the current financial climate.

"It sets a standard that so many clubs will be unable to compete with - and if you do try to compete (financially with Real Madrid) you are building massive volumes of debt," he said.

"Football isn't immune to the world's problems and, as such, is very vulnerable."

Madrid signed Brazilian Kaka for a reported £56m earlier this week, surpassing the previous world record fee in pounds sterling of £45.6m, which they paid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.

That deal was sealed by the ambition of returning Real president Florentino Perez, who previously led the Spanish club from 2000 to 2006 - during the famous galacticos era.



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see also
Friday's gossip column
12 Jun 09 |  Gossip
Man Utd accept 80m Ronaldo bid
11 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
Hughes expects big transfer spree
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Reaction to Real's Ronaldo offer
11 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
History of the world transfer record
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Who can replace Ronaldo?
12 Jun 09 |  Man Utd
How can Real Madrid afford Ronaldo?
11 Jun 09 |  Business
Ronaldo's career in photos
11 Jun 09 |  Football
Kaka completes Real Madrid switch
09 Jun 09 |  Europe


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