On the last day of the transfer deadline, Manchester City and their prospective new owners from the Abu Dhabi royal family shocked the football world by paying a British record transfer fee for temperamental Brazilian striker Robinho from football heavyweights Real Madrid. Many scratched their heads on why Robinho would leave a club competing to be the best in the world, for a club that is not even the best in its own city. On Wednesday, the Daily Mail explained why.
Manchester City have made Brazil star Robinho the highest-paid player in the Barclays Premier League at an incredible £160,000 a week.
Robinho was promised the enormous wages to persuade him to give up his dream of joining Chelsea. And the extent of City’s new wealth and ambition was emphasized when manager Mark Hughes was told he could buy the Brazilian and Dimitar Berbatov on the same day.
With Robinho now earning £30,000 a week more than Chelsea’s John Terry and £100,000 a week more than City’s second-highest earner Shaun Wright-Phillips, it would appear that the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment mean business.
While Robinho is an exciting player with the ability to score and run at a defender, the idea that he is the highest paid player in the best league in the world is an absolute joke. During his time at Madrid, he showed flashes of brilliance but, during Fabio Capello’s reign, the diminutive striker/winger often found himself riding the bench. A scoring record of 1-in-4 in Spain is pretty average, considering he often played striker at the Bernabéu. For comparisons sake, Lionel Messi, who also often plays on the wing for FC Barcelona, basically netted in every other game.
Since he came to Madrid, trouble has seemed to follow the young Brazilian. Besides his fondness for nightclubs, he has been described as immature. Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon told the press that when he spoke on the phone with Robinho, he would literally cry when Calderon would refuse to let him make his “dream move” to Chelsea. He also sports a questionable work ethic, and is hardly a model teammate.
That being said, it would inject new intrigue and excitement to the EPL if Robinho can help Man City break into the stale “Big 4”. Also, his signing was a statement of intent from the Arab owners that showed Chelsea and Manchester United that there was a new rich kid on the block, who could buy just as many championships as they could.
It raises the question, if Robinho is worth 160,000 quid to Man City, how much is a player like Ronaldo worth? Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim, a representative of the Abu Dhabi based group, claims that they would be willing to pay double that in wages to Ronaldo, who currently makes a paltry 120,000 quid per week.
As insane as this window has been, there is no bigger story that the rise of the “Middle Eastlands” club, and I, for one, cannot wait for the January transfer window, just to see what these guys will do next.
What do you think? Is Robinho the best player in the EPL, thus deserving of his exorbitant wages? Did he join Man City for “footballing reasons” or for the almighty green? Will they be able to buy Ronaldo, Torres, and Messi, and, if so, how astronomical will their wages be?