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'Galácticos like Bale were cheap': Real president

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'Galácticos like Bale were cheap': Real president
"All the important players have been cheap for Real Madrid. That is why we lead the Forbes list," Pérez told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.Photo: Pierre Philippe Marcou/AFP
14:48 CEST+02:00
Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has defended his policy of signing the best players in the world for huge transfer fees by claiming they make the club money in the long run.

Pérez is in his second term in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu and added to a stellar cast of signings under his guidance such as Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo with the capture of Gareth Bale earlier this month.

And whilst the 66-year-old construction magnate refused to clarify whether Madrid had paid €91 million ($123 million, £76.7 million) for the Welshman reported by Spanish media, or what would be a record breaking €101 million as suggested by the press in England, Pérez claimed Bale had in fact been a "cheap" signing.

"The signing was cheap," Pérez told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

"All the important players have been cheap for Real Madrid. That is why we lead the Forbes list."

Indeed, American business magazine Forbes increased their valuation of Real Madrid following the Bale signing to $3.4 billion to consolidate their place as the world's most valuable sports entity.

"It was shown with Figo, Zidane, Beckham and Ronaldo. Even though they were very expensive, we went from losing money to making money."

Madrid's money-making potential under Pérez's two spells in charge has dramatically increased with revenue rising from just €85 million 15 years ago to €520.9 million  for the 2012/13 season.

Real also recorded a significant rise in profit and cut their net debt last season despite ending the campaign empty handed in terms of trophies.

Pérez is hoping that Bale's arrival will signal not only continued commercial success, but a return to winning ways on the field.

And he also claimed that the player shunned the advances of Manchester United to end up at the Bernabeu.

"Bale has twice been named the best player in the Premier League, he was the image of the Premier League.

"I believe he is one of the best players in the world and Real Madrid have the model of buying the best.

"Tottenham did not want to sell him. It came to our attention that Manchester United had made an offer and we then made ours. Since he was young he has had the desire to play for Real Madrid and he asked we do everything possible for him to come."

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