Real Madrid signs Robinho

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Real Madrid signed Brazil's Robinho on Thursday, buying the skillful forward out of his contract with Santos.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:54 IST
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Real Madrid signed Brazil's Robinho on Thursday, buying the skillful forward out of his contract with Santos. "Real Madrid has paid the 60 per cent of the buyout clause belonging to Santos to sign Robinho," the club said on its Web site. Madrid's media chief Antonio Garcia Ferreras earlier told the Associated Press from Beijing, where the club is on tour, the sum was US$29.3 million and it would be initially paid to the Brazilian Soccer Confederation and not to Santos. He said Robinho and his agent Wagner Ribeiro, who reportedly own the remainder of the forward's playing rights, would waive their part of the fee. "We will pay 60 per cent of the buyout clause. The other 40 per cent should be paid to the player and his agent but they will forego their share," Garcia Ferreras said. Citing sources close to Robinho, news agency Efe said Ribeiro has already deposited the amount in a Rio de Janeiro bank. Santos president Marcelo Teixeira had tried to retain Robinho for at least one more season, and said Robinho could leave only if Madrid paid the US$50 million buyout clause in full. Contract issues The Brazilian club's attitude led Robinho, who missed three Brazilian league games since returning from the Confederations Cup, to grow increasingly irritated. The forward, who was fined an undisclosed amount by Santos for every day he failed to appear, reportedly instructed his lawyers to take the case to a local labor court. Robinho said Teixeira last year agreed to release him for US$25 million but Santos' president denied making any promises. The 21-year-old, whose skills earned him comparisons with Pele, also said a move would help him protect his family. His mother was kidnapped for 40 days at the end of last year. Speculation that the weeks long deadlock over the transfer was about to end came earlier Thursday when sports daily Marca reported Robinho passed a routine medical exam in Brazil under Real Madrid's supervision. Winner for Santos Robinho helped Santos win national titles in 2002 and '04 - its only significant championships since the late 1960s. Robinho's move will reunite him with Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, with whom he won the Brazilian title last December. He will also team up with Brazil international teammates Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos. "With him playing we're going to enjoy ourselves. He won't take long to adapt. He's a very smart boy and he'll have a lot of friends here," Ronaldo was quoted as saying by news agency Efe. Robinho is Madrid's third signing this summer, following Uruguayan internationals midfielder Pablo Garcia and defender Carlos Diogo, who arrived from Osasuna and River Plate respectively. (AP)

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