FERNANDO Torres has hit out at Spanish clubs for splashing big money on foreign players but not doing the same for home-grown stars.
If Real Madrid complete the £80million (94 million euros) signing of Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo then it means the nine-time European champions will have paid the four biggest transfer fees of all time, having also spent huge amounts on Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and Luis Figo.
Madrid's rivals Barcelona have also broken the transfer record twice in signing Johan Cruyff (1973) and Diego Maradona (1982), while recently-relegated Primera Division outfit Real Betis set a new work mark when they paid £21.5million (25.5 million euros at today's prices) for Denilson in 1998.
All of those signings have been for foreign players, and although players such as Joaquin and Sergio Ramos have moved between Spanish clubs for relatively large amounts, they are more the exception than the rule.
It could be a different story this summer with Euro 2008-winning trio David Villa, David Silva and Xabi Alonso all being linked with big-money moves to either Madrid or Barcelona, but their fees are unlikely to come close to those paid for Ronaldo or Kaka.
Torres, who was a £20million (23.5 million euros) signing when he moved from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool in 2007, said: "In Spain we still don't value the players that we have. We have the best national team in the world and a lot of money would be spent on our players, but Spanish clubs don't do it. They would only do it for foreign players."
Regarding Ronaldo's fee, the Spain hitman added: "Madrid have broken the market with the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, but the player is worth what is paid for him at that time."