How Madrid spent 121 million euros on Vinicius Jr. & Rodrygo to spite Barca


Florentino Perez has now spent 121 million euros in just over a year in search of the new Neymar in the Brazilian market. In May 2017, he spent 61 million (45 million to Flamengo and 16 million in commission) on Vinicius Junior and, in June 2018, he’s spent another 60 million (36 million of which will go to Santos FC) on Rodrygo Goes.

It’s a genuinely insane amount of money, unjustifiable by any football parameters, made because of Perez’s desire to inflict revenge on Barcelona for beating Real Madrid to Neymar in 2011 (his signing was finalised two years later, in May 2013).

The Madrid president doesn’t care that, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, born in 2000 and 2001 respectively, occupy the same position: wide left, the same as Neymar, the player Madrid really want. In fact, if they sign the Paris Saint-Germain forward, which is improbable this summer, they will have the same sticker three times over. It would be almost 400 million euros on three left forwards.

Perez has the cash to keep Cristiano Ronaldo and pay the Portuguese player what he wants. The signing of Rodrygo, who will move to Madrid in 2019 when he turns 18, is a personal affront to Ronaldo.

The young Santos forward will pocket 24 million euros from Madrid in the coming months: 9 million due to the fact he owns 20 percent of his own economic rights (the transfer will cost 45 million) and 15 more in commission as a signing bonus. Rodrygo has achieved the impossible: to make more money, personally, from the deal than Vinicius Jr.

Part of the wage increase Ronaldo wants has gone to the Santos teen, who has nine goals in 29 games in his first season as a first-team regular. Apart from the 24 million he will get from the transfer, Rodrygo Goes (the future RG9), will start with a huge salary of seven million annually.


Perez’s work was done in three days after Barça had spent a year following the Santos player. It was exactly the same as with Vinicius Jr.

The Madrid chief blew Barcelona out of the water on Monday, offering huge sums of money to tempt the Brazilian club and the player into a deal.

Barça were not prepared to enter a bidding war. They had put 30 million on the table for a transfer, but with Rodrygo giving up his 20 percent to force the deal through. There would also have been no commission for the player and a salary much lower than Madrid have offered. Despite the wage containment, there were pluses for the family and professional environment of the player, as shown by his father’s trip to Barcelona this year.

What’s more, Barça sat down to talk with Santos president José Carlos Peres in May, taking advantage of general manager Pep Segura and CEO Oscar Grau’s trip to Brazil earlier this year.

Santos’ complaints about the Neymar deal, still unresolved, meant an agreement was not reached.

Despite that, Barça didn’t give up. The player’s people committed to helping to create a better environment to negotiate with Santos. What’s more, people at the Catalan club received calls on Sunday night, after Rodrygo’s first hat-trick for Santos, showing optimism that a transfer could be completed.

And on Monday, Real Madrid appeared, changing everything with huge sums of money. By telephone, Jose Angel Sanchez, Perez’s executor, committed the club’s second attack of madness in just over a year. And Rodrygo’s family gave in to the 24 million that was flashed in front of them.