Sporting CP Lisbon sign Bryan Ruiz from Fulham
Sporting Lisbon have signed Costa Rica forward Bryan Ruiz from Fulham for an undisclosed fee.
The 29-year-old joined the Cottagers for £10.6 million in 2011 and was due to leave on a free this summer until the club took up an option to extend his deal in May.
But the extension proved to be short-lived as both clubs have announced that Ruiz has signed a three-year deal in Lisbon with a €60m (£43m) buy-out clause.
Ruiz began his career in Europe with Gent and from there moved on to FC Twente, where he helped the club to the Eredivisie title in 2010.
That earned him his move to the Premier League and, while he may not have made a major impact in the top flight and was loaned out to PSV Eindhoven in January 2014, he returned to feature 32 times last term in the Championship, scoring five goals.
A £43 million release clause? Wow. I guess it's safe to say Bryan Ruiz will be a Lisbon player until the summer of 2018!
On a serious note, Ruiz really is a class player and moving to a league with less of a spotlight on it, as well as a team which has focused on technical proficiency for many years, should be a good fit for him. Hopefully this is the boon his career needed after the Fulham switch, which, while promising at first, fell on its face thanks in part to the troubles the club have had.
Ruiz has thrived in the Netherlands in the past, which is a league of similar style and stature to Portugal. Perhaps Lisbon hope that he can offer some sage advice and positive encouragement to the countless prospects who come through their academy ranks.
IF SOMEONE ACTUALLY MET HIS BUYOUT CLAUSE...
Let's engage in a very unlikely fantasy scenario for a moment, just for fun. Imagine Ruiz sets the world on fire at Sporting and someone decided that he was exactly what they needed to win the treble. Manchester City, we're looking at you.
Anyway, should someone actually fork out £43m/€60m for Ruiz, here's where he would land on the all-time world transfer fees list (price in Euros prioritised)
1. Gareth Bale (Tottenham to Real Madrid, 2013) €100m (£85.3m)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid, 2009) €94.4m (£80m)
3. Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Barcelona, 2014) €94m (£75m)
4. James Rodriguez (Monaco to Real Madrid, 2014) €79.5m (£63m)
5=. Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid to Manchester United, 2014) €75m (£59.7m)
5=. Zinedine Zidane (Juventus to Real Madrid, 2001) €75m (£46m)
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan to Barcelona, 2009) €69m (£59m)
8. Kaka (AC Milan to Real Madrid, 2009) €65m (£56m)
10. David Luiz (Chelsea to Paris Saint-Germain, 2014) €62.6m (£50m)
11. Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon to ???) €60m (£43m)
Come on City, or Real Madrid, or PSG, or anyone... make it happen!