By Guest Writer Thomas Rooney
Spanish football giants Real Madrid are winning the bragging rights over Manchester United right now. First of all, they secured the signature of United’s best player Cristiano Ronaldo and now it's emerged they pipped them to the signing of Karim Benzema by the Spanish club.
In fact, it appears that Benzema rejected advanced talks with United, Inter Milan AND Barcelona in order to join Real Madrid. Benzema – who could see his fee rise to around £35m – was paraded in front of the Madrid fans after his move from Lyon and he has since revealed the clubs that he turned down.
The 21-year-old said that ‘quite a few clubs’ contacted him over his availability and that this included ‘Manchester United, Inter Milan and Barcelona’. However, he admitted that he has ‘dreamed of playing for Real Madrid’ since he was a young boy.
These thoughts echo those of Ronaldo who also stated that he had always wanted to play for Real Madrid. The Bernabeu certainly seems to be the place to be at the moment and they are making player presentations a regular occurrence this summer.
Brazilian international Kaka was first unveiled in front of 55,000 fans before Ronaldo was shown off in front of a massive 90,000 Madrid supporters. As for Benzema, he was greeted by 20,000 fans as he was introduced in a Real Madrid shirt for the first time.
This was inevitably a smaller amount than Ronaldo or Kaka, but the Frenchman was still very pleased with his reception. He said that the whole experience was ‘very exciting’ and that he felt ‘strong emotions’ during the process – hence the kiss of the badge during his presentation.
Players and fans really do seem to have a special relationship at Real Madrid and the club will be hoping this continues throughout the season.
If the likes of Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema remain extremely popular throughout the campaign, it probably means that Real Madrid will be winning trophies come the end of it.
This is the main aim, after all.
The question is though – is Benzema the last of the arrivals? He admits that there is ‘great competition’ for places already, so will any more superstars be added between now and the start of the season?
I wouldn’t want to place a football bet either way on that one!