Here's the take by yours truly:
Real Madrid began the week playing second fiddle in its own country.
The Spanish superclub greets the weekend with a roster that's second-to-none.
All it took was a bit of moxie, persistence -- and more than a fifth of a billion dollars in transfer fees.
Three days after acquiring AC Milan midfielder Kaka in a blockbuster deal, Real Madrid shattered records and recalibrated the soccer universe by offering Manchester United $131 million for the rights to Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo.