The most expensive footballer in history may now be used to guarantee the solvency of a Spanish bank. “Ronaldo in the bailout fund,” headlinesSüddeutsche Zeitung. The daily reports that the Bankia group of savings banks, which financed Real Madrid’s acquisition of the Portuguese player, is now seeking to borrow funds from the European Central Bank. In response to the ECB’s demand for guarantees, Bankio are putting up… Ronaldo and the Brazilian Kaka, who also plays for the Madrid football club. In 2009, Real borrowed 76.5 million euros to pay transfer fees of 100 millions euros to Manchester United, and 60 million to Milan AC.
“Could we see a situation in which the ECB seizes one of the players?“ wonders the Munich daily. “In theory, it is possible. Bankia would first have to become insolvent. Thereafter, Real would have to default on its loans, which are secured by advertising and television revenues. It goes without saying that Real Madrid is in debt to the tune of several million euros. However, in Spain football clubs have a history of obtaining publicly funded bailouts — just like the country’s banks.”