Ronaldo leads the way

Ronaldo's move FC to Real Madrid CF stood out on a busy weekend in the transfer market.

By Greg Demetriou

The completion of Ronaldo's transfer from Internazionale FC to Real Madrid CF was the highlight of some hectic wheeling and dealing in the European transfer market before Saturday night's deadline. Clubs will now not be able to bring in new faces until 1 January when there will be a month-long transfer window.

Super Cup victory
Ronaldo agreed his deal with Madrid just hours after the European champions lifted the UEFA Super Cup with a 3-1 victory against Feyenoord on Friday night. The striker, who scored eight goals as Brazil won the FIFA World Cup, has signed a five-year deal at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Player in return
In addition to the €35m fee, Inter have been promised a player of their choice from the Madrid squad who they will be able to sign during the winter transfer window. Commentators have suggested that this clause raises the value of the deal to something like €45m.

'Extraordinary player'
"Ronaldo was the best striker in the World Cup so we have signed a great player who has won titles," said Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque said. "I am convinced he will help the club, Ronaldo is an extraordinary player, the best players have always played for Real Madrid and Ronaldo is one of them."

Spending spree
Along with Ronaldo, other big-name movers included Alessandro Nesta, Hernán Crespo, Robbie Keane, Djalminha and Cosmin Contra. After a fairly sluggish few months in the transfer market, the late summer spending spree more than made up for it.

All change
S.S. Lazio fans were the biggest losers following all that activity. Italy defender Alessandro Nesta has left for Milan AC while Argentina striker Hernán Crespo has departed to fill the gap left by Ronaldo at Inter. Nesta has cost Milan €30.2m while the terms of the Crespo deal are not yet known.

Early exit
Lazio have brought in Inter striker Bernado Corradi, who leaves the Milan club after just two months. Corradi came to prominence for AC Chievo Verona last season but did not get the chance to play in a competitive match for Inter. However, it will take some time for Lazio supporters to recover from losing Nesta and Crespo.  

Juventus swap
Not to be left behind, Italian champions Juventus FC have signed Marco Di Vaio from Parma AC in a €26m deal which sees young midfield player Matteo Brighi move in the opposite direction on loan.

'Difficult decision'
Brazilian playmaker Djalminha has left RC Deportivo La Coruña for a season-long loan with FK Austria Wien, after a disappointing season in Spain which ended in a training-ground bust-up with coach Javier Irureta. "I wanted the opportunity of playing and enjoying football". Djalminha said. He added that "it was a difficult decision" but "I was losing my football career playing only 15 minutes each match".

Contra capture
Austria have also signed Julio César on a season-long loan from Real Madrid CF. Madrid's Primera División rivals Deportivo Alavés and Clube Atlético de Madrid have snapped up two Romanians - Adrian Ilie and Cosmin Contra from Valencia CF and Milan AC respectively.

Flo flourish
In England, Sunderland AFC have brought in two strikers to give them some added firepower. Rangers FC's Tore Andre Flo, who marked his debut on Saturday with a goal in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United FC, and Marcus Stewart of Ipswich Town FC. Leeds United AFC have offloaded World Cup sensation Robbie Keane to Tottenham Hotspur FC while bringing in Sweden defender Teddy Lucic on loan from AIK Solna. Bolton Wanderers FC have signed Real Madrid's Iván Campo on a year's loan.

Dynamo's record deal
FC Dynamo Kyiv have broken their transfer record with the €4m signing Croatian international Jerko Leko from NK Dinamo Zagreb. In Germany, Hannover 96 have strengthened by bringing in Kostas Konstantindis and Fredi Bobic while French club Lille OSC have signed Eric Abidil from AS Monaco FC.