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Spanish bank puts up Cristiano Ronaldo as collateral

Jul 31, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

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CristianoRonaldo_REUTERS_42 Reuters

In one of the more stranger stories that I’ve come across recently, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is being used as collateral by a Spanish bank along his fellow Real Madrid teammate, Kaka:

The Bankia group of savings banks needs money desperately and has asked the European Central Bank for a loan. Well, the ECB doesn’t hand off cash to just anyone, so it asked for some guarantees. Bankia offered up Ronaldo and the Brazilian player Kaká, otherwise known as Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite.

Where does Bankia get the right to do this? Back when Real Madrid was recruiting the Portuguese Ronaldo, it turned to Bankia to finance the acquisition. Bankia lent the club 76.5 million euros, which helped it get the 100 million euros it needed for Ronaldo and the 60 million for Kaká.

For any panicking Real Madrid fans, the odds that Renaldo or Kaka could be seized by the European Central Bank is pretty slim to nil since a myriad of things would have to happen:

Bankia would have to become insolvent. Real Madrid would have to default on its loans. And the Spanish government would have to refuse to bail out its soccer team.

Now if only the New York Mets could do the same thing with Bobby Bonilla, we could fix the debt ceiling.

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Bank offers soccer star as collateral [MSN Money]