See what's happening on Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr


Who got what from Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfers, and what does this say about the failure of the transfer system to protect the professional football industry?

FIFPro has combined and cross-checked financial data from a variety of sources showing the solidarity mechanism (redistribution of revenue) or trickle down effect within the football pyramid is somewhat of a myth.

This example highlights once again what research has proven to be an undeniable reality, that transfer fees only circulate among a small group of elite clubs, agents and third parties.

Click here for the full Stefan Szymanski study

Manchester United received 94 million Euros in compensation from transferring Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in 2009 – more than eight times what Sporting Clube de Portugal received six years earlier.

Other beneficiaries from the FIFA World Player of the Year’s moves include an investment fund that bought a stake in his transfer rights from Sporting in 2002 and Banco Santander, which in 2009 provided a loan repayable over six years enabling Real Madrid to finance his signing.

Ronaldo’s first amateur club, Andorinha, received a token gift of 2 sets of kit and 20 footballs for releasing the footballer, while his next team Nacional got 22,500 Euros in compensation.

Club Period Ronaldo's Age     Compensation
Andorinha 1992-1995 7 to 10 2 sets of kit, 20 footballs
Nacional 1995-1997 10 to 12 22,500 euro
Sporting CP 1997-2003 12 to 18 11.6 million euro
Manchester United     2003-2009     18 to 24 94 million euro
Real Madrid 2009- .... 24 to ..  


Related financial transactions brought in an estimated 22.1 million euros to investors, agents and banks.


Ronaldo Chart 640


Where do these figures come from?

FIFPro used financial statements of Real Madrid and Sporting to calculate transfer compensation, agent fees and third-party ownership payments. We also used a report on and an interview with former Andorinha president Rui Santos.

Where an agent’s commission wasn’t available we calculated it at 5 per cent of the transfer fee. We estimated solidarity payments based on FIFA’s rules. We did not include training compensation or performance-related uplifts in transfer fees because this information was not available.


Also read:     New study: Abusive transfer system is failing
  The full Stefan Szymanski study
  Szymanski study "uncomfortable reading"
  Key Figures: Transfer Fees and Training Players