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Alonso the Last Piece to Real Madrid Puzzle

Although there are still changes within the club to be made, it appears today's official signing of extraordinary Liverpool talent Xabi Alonso has wrappedup Real Madrid's runaway Summer spending spree. The addition of the Spanish international represents "a change in focus for Los Blancos, who will now turn their attention to trimming the squad rather than adding to it," according to ESPN Soccernet.

"Xabi was a very important piece," said Real director general Jorge Valdano. "I'm delighted that what started six years ago has been completed now." In a statement of the obvious, he added, "This is a special season, we had to do unprecedented things. With Xabi we have closed the chapter of signings. Now we have to work on the exits of professionals who won't be here next season."

Alonso's transfer brings the club's total tally to almost $382 millions, an enormous number even for Real's loose-pocketed reputation. In case you're scoring at home, here's how that sum breaks down: Cristiano Ronaldo - $135.7 million, Kaka - $95 million, Karim Benzema - $59.4 million, Xabi Alonso - $50.9 milion, Raul Albiol - $21.5 million, Alvaro Negredo - $7.1 million, Alvaro Arbeloa - $5.9 million and Esteban Granero - $5.7 million. That's a lot of millions (but that's going to be a lot of jerseys sold.)

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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