Bankia puts Ronaldo and Kaká up as collateral
Footballers. Models. Cultural icons. The Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo and the Brazilian Ricardo Kaká have been called many things throughout their career, but thanks to the newly listed Bankia, they each have a brand-new title: bank collateral. The Spanish bank Caja Madrid helped to finance Real Madrid’s purchase of Ronaldo from Manchester United and Kaká’s transfer from AC Madrid with a loan of €160 million in 2009. Caja Madrid has since merged with six other Spanish savings banks to form Bankia, which now owns Real’s debt.
The bank is now seeking loans from the European Central Bank and has put up Ronaldo and Kaká – who are the second- and fourth-highest-paid football players in the world, respectively – as a guarantee of solvency.
This means that, theoretically, if Bankia goes under and Real Madrid defaults on its loans, the ECB would own Ronaldo and Kaká. Perhaps given everything that’s happening in Europe its central bank could do with an autocratic leader who gets results – José Mourinho anyone?