Soccer: Real Madrid at epicentre of crazy transfer market
James Rodríguez, the Colombian forward, becomes the fourth most expensive transfer in the history of soccer, moving from Monaco to Real Madrid for a price of 121 million USD, after Barcelona signed Uruguay's Luis Suarez from Liverpool FC for 128 million USD.
James Rodriguez, 23 years of age, was the top goal scorer in the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil, winning the tournament's Golden Boot with six goals in five games. Before that he won three Portuguese league titles with Futebol Clube do Porto, moving to Monaco in France for a fee of 365.5 million USD in 2013.
This is the fourth highest transfer in the history of soccer, after last season's world record of 145 million USD for the transfer of Gareth Bale (Wales) from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid. Second was the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) from Manchester United to Real Madrid for 136 million USD in 2009. Third was the Suarez move from Liverpool FC to Barcelona FC for 128 million USD. Real Madrid was also at the center of the fifth highest transfer record, that of Brazil's Kaka from AC Milan for 95 million USD.
Real Madrid have also signed Germany's midfield player Tony Kroos from Bayern Munich for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be in the region of some 50 million USD.
Other recent transfers involving Spanish clubs include the move of Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia to Barcelona for 27 million USD, Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid to Juventus and Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid to Chelsea, all for the same fee and Diego Costa from Atlético Madrid to Chelsea for 54 million USD.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign