15 Ronaldo jerseys sold per minute

MADRID: Real Madrid sold 15 Cristiano Ronaldo jerseys per minute at the club's shop at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in the two hours that followed the player's presentation on Monday, reports said Wednesday.

The shop sold 2,000 jerseys bearing the Portuguese striker's name and the number nine once sported by club legend Alfredo di Stefano during the period at 85 euros (118 dollars) each for a total revenue of 170,000 euros, sports dailies AS and Marca reported.

In the rush, 300 black and white Ronaldo jerseys were stolen. The "Cristianomania" continued on Tuesday as the adult size jerseys were sold out at the shop.

Ronaldo, 24, did much better than Real's other big name new recruit, Brazil's Kaka, who joined the Spanish giants from AC Milan in early June for 65 million euros.

During the two hours that followed the 27-year-old's presentation at the Bernabeu stadium on June 30, the shop sold 600 Kaka jerseys or five per minute.

Some 75,000 people turned out for the official unveiling of Ronaldo, compared to the 55,000 who turned out to welcome Kaka to Real.

Ronaldo joined Real from Manchester United in June on a six-year deal worth around 94 million euros and he will reportedly be paid 13 million euros each season, making him the most expensive player in the world.

In an interview published Wednesday in AS, the 2008 FIFA world player of the year said the amounts involved in his transfer were justified.

"Of course one can pay this sum for me. I think even more. They all say no, but I say yes," he said.

Real is the world's largest revenue-generating club in the world, ahead of Manchester United and Barcelona, according to an annual ranking compiled by business advisory firm Deloitte.

The club boosted revenues from sales of jerseys and other souvenirs after it began signing top world players like France's Zinedine Zidane and England's David Beckham in 2000.

Real Madrid's capture of Brazilian star Kaka alone could be worth 100 million dollars a season in additional revenues to the Spanish club, according to sports business consultancy Weber Shandwick Sport.