James already paying back huge transfer fee

REAL MADRID are well on their way to recouping the reported £71m paid to Monaco for the signature of Colombia phenomenon James Rodriguez.

Spanish paper Sport have reported that, according to the company Euromericas Sport Marketing, Real Madrid have so far sold approximately 345,000 'James' replica shirts in the 48 hours since the forward was unveiled at the Bernebeu in front of 44,000 fans.

That's roughly 7,188 shirts sold per hour worldwide and at £60 each equates to about £20.7 million in sales.

Gerardo Molina, Professor Emeritus in Sports Marketing said today in Sport: "The expection is that the player (James) will sell product at the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo, who has sold over one million shirts since arriving at Real Madrid". "

Real Madrid had Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham but in terms of sales they never came close to these figures when they joined the club," said Euromericas Sport Marketing.

Meanwhile, Luis Suárez could make his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid in the first El Clasico of the season following the release of this season's La Liga fixtures, which see Real host Barca the day after his ban for biting ends.


Suarez, who was banned for four months from all football-related activity after biting Italy centre-back Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, is eligible to make his debut for the Catalan giants on October 26, the day of the biggest match in the domestic football calendar.

There is, however, a chance that the fixtures could change, should the TV schedule dictate.

If he misses out on the opening Clasico, Suarez, who signed for Barcelona from Liverpool in a £75 million, five-year deal, will most certainly play in the second on March 22, forming a formidable partnership alongside Argentina hero Lionel Messi and Brazil star Neymar.