Madrid:Brazilian midfielder Kaka has said he believes he and Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo are worth the huge transfer fees which Spanish giants Real Madrid dished out for them last month.
"If Real Madrid have decided to pay so much money for us it is because we are worth it, isn't it? Because we have shown it with our football in recent years," he said in an interview published on Sunday in sports daily Marca.
"We are in a sport which pays these kinds of figures and within this sphere it could be that we are worth this investment," the 27-year-old added.
Real signed Kaka from AC Milan for 65 million euros and paid a record fee of around 94 million euros to sign Ronaldo from Manchester United.
"In the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, who is the most expensive player, he has shown that he's number one and that he's worth this money," said Kaka.
Ronaldo, 24, has also said the astronomical sum paid by Real for him made business sense.
But the hefty amounts paid for the two most recent winners of the FIFA World Player of the Year award have sparked controversy, with UEFA president Michel Platini calling the transfers "a serious challenge to the idea of fairplay".
Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano also weighed into the debate, saying in its Saturday edition that Real's spending splurge runs the risk of pushing football clubs towards bankrupcy by inflating transfer fees.
During his first post-training press conference as Real's new coach, Chile's Manuel Pellegrini refused to comment on the Vatican criticism.
"I have nothing to say. Right or wrong, everyone has a right to express their opinion. I'm not fit to talk about what the Vatican says," he said.
Business consultancy Weber Shandwick Sport has estimated that Real's capture of Kaka alone could be worth 100 million dollars a season in additional revenues to the club in extra jersey sales, sponsorship revenues and match ticket sales.
Ronaldo will add a further 75 million dollars per season to Real's turnover, according to the consultancy.
Real will face Deportivo de la Coruna at home on the weekend of August 29-30 in their first league match of the upcoming season.