MADRID, July 6 – Cristiano Ronaldo has passed his medical test at Real Madrid and is set to be introduced as the club's latest signing, completing a deal that makes him the most expensive player in the world.
The 2008 FIFA world player, who spent the past six years at England’s Manchester United, arrived in Madrid on Monday on a private flight from his native Portugal where he was on holiday, sparking a media frenzy.
In a statement, the head of Real’s medical services, Carlos Diez, said the 24-year-old striker was "in perfect condition and looking forward to the beginning of the season."
Ronaldo will don Real’s jersey for the first time at a ceremony at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium which is scheduled to get underway at 9 pm (1900 GMT).
Real acquired the player from Manchester United last month on a six-year deal worth 94 million euros (131 million dollars) and Spanish media reports that he will be paid 13 million euros each season.
He will team up with Kaka, the 2007 FIFA world player, who signed with Real from AC Milan for 65 million euros from AC Milan in early June.
Kaka was officially unveiled on June 30 at the Bernabeu stadium before 55,000 fans, according to club figures, and Real predicts as many as 80,000 people may attend Ronaldo’s presentation.
That would make it the most attended presentation of a footballer since 75,000 fans cheered the arrival of Argentina’s Diego Maradona at Naples from FC Barcelona in July 1984. Fans had to pay to enter the stadium in that event.
By noon hundreds of fans, equipped with food and drinks for a lengthy wait, were already at the stadium waiting for the free event to get underway.
"I am here because he is handsome and I am from Madrid," one young female supporter told private televion TVE as she sat surrounded by friends outside the stadium waiting for the unveiling to get underway.
Sports daily AS reported over the weekend that Ronaldo will wear the Number 9 shirt once sported by club legend Alfredo di Stefano.
The Argentine striker, Real’s honorary president, is expected to present Ronaldo with his jersey at the player’s official unveiling.
Kaka was the first big name who construction magnate Florentino Perez signed since he returned in June for a second stint as president of Real.
Perez, who brought Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane to Real during his first term as the club’s president between 2000 and 2006, is seeking to rebuild a squad which trailed arch rival FC Barcelona last season by reviving his policy of signing football superstars.
Among Real’s other signings is French striker Karim Benzema from Lyon and defender Raul Albiol, who joined from financially troubled Spanish side Valencia.