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Real Madrid sign Robinho for $30 million

Pedro Fonseca and Simon Baskett | July 22, 2005 10:54 IST

Real Madrid have agreed to sign Santos striker Robinho for $30 million, the Spanish club said on their website on Thursday.

RobinhoThe nine-times European champions said they paid 60 percent of the $50 million buy-out clause stipulated in the player's contract in order to buy Santos's share of his rights.

His agent Wagner Ribeiro said Robinho had agreed to forego the 40 percent to which he was entitled, which accounts for the shortfall of $20 million.

Meanwhile, Santos said they did not know about the development.

"It's settled," Ribeiro said.

"Robinho is just waiting for a transfer certificate to travel. He waived the 40 percent to which he was entitled to be able to fulfill his dream of playing for Real Madrid."

Real have been chasing the 21-year-old forward since last year but had met with stiff resistance from Santos, who wanted to hold on to the youngster who had played such an instrumental role in their recent success.

Santos president Marcelo Teixeira, who has accused Real of approaching the player without his club's permission, said the Brazilian side had yet to receive the money.

"No deposit has been made," he told Brazilian television before refusing to answer any more questions.

A club spokesman added that Santos believed they were entitled to be paid the full $50 million.

Robinho would be Real's third signing of the close season, following Uruguayan duo Pablo Garcia and Carlos Diogo.

His arrival will cast doubts on the future of England striker Michael Owen, whose place in Real's starting line-up could be in jeopardy.

Real also have Ronaldo and Raul on their books, meaning there will be four strikers battling for places up front.

Robinho, who was won 12 Brazil caps and scored four goals, is one of the world's most exciting players and was an ever-present in the team which won the Confederations Cup in Germany last month.

The Santos striker, who burst on to the scene as an 18-year-old when he helped Santos win their first Brazilian championship in 2002, has been the subject of speculation over a move to Real for the best part of a year.

Robinho had also been linked with Benfica, PSV Eindhoven, Arsenal and Chelsea.

His trickery, ball skills and physique have often led to comparisons with Pele, who spent most of his career at Santos, although the youngster has yet to be fully tested against the world's top defenders.


Robinho has been at loggerheads with Santos since the end of the Confederations Cup when he bade farewell to the supporters and said he was close to signing a deal with Real.

After returning to Brazil, Robinho defied orders to go back to the club and missed 12 training sessions and three matches.

Teixeira went on holiday to Miami and, when he returned, media reports said he refused to meet a Real delegation who had travelled to Santos.

Spanish media reported earlier on Thursday that Robinho had undergone a medical check-up at a clinic in Sao Paulo before signing for Real.

Sports daily Marca said he was subjected to a battery of tests under the supervision of Joaquim Grava and Real's chief of medical staff Alfonso del Corral.

Real are currently in China on the second leg of a pre-season tour of the United States and Asia.

(Additional reporting by Simon Baskett)


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