Brazil striker Ronaldo gave his fiance a
romantic Valentine's Day present on Monday, throwing a lavish engagement
party at a sumptuous and secluded castle outside Paris.
Ronaldo was widely reported to have invited Real Madrid team mates
Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Raul to the party at Chantilly
chateau just north of Paris but it was not immediately clear whether
they had attended.
Limousines drove guests into the grounds of the chateau amid tight
security. A Reuters reporter saw Real Madrid midfielder Luis Figo and
Italian designer Valentino arrive.
Although the party was billed as a wedding, Ronaldo cannot marry
23-year-old Brazilian model Daniella Cicarelli until he has been
divorced for a full year from his first wife, Milene Domingues.
"But Ronaldo and Daniella believe that St. Valentine's is a special day
and regard this party as their marriage," David Espinar, Ronaldo's agent,
said by telephone from Madrid.
The Chantilly municipality and Brazilian consulate in Paris say they
have received no papers from the couple and no requests to register a
wedding on Monday. The pair are expected to wed later this year.
Espinar said the 28-year-old Ronaldo's divorce was just about tied up
but Spanish law prevented him from marrying again for a year.
Brazilian media put the estimated cost of the party at around 700,000
euros ($900,200), although they say the couple could earn 400,000 euros
by selling exclusive photo writes to Spanish magazine Hola!.
All media, with the apparent exception of Hola!, were banned from the
event and Israeli-trained security personnel were due to be on the
lookout for cell phones with built-in cameras.
The flower arrangements cost 70,000 euros and the hire of the castle
20,000 euros, according to Brazilian media. British DJ Fat Boy Slim is
expected to perform during the party.
Ronaldo was top scorer at the 2002 World Cup, which Brazil won, and is a
former World Player of the Year.
He married his previous wife Milene in December 1999. Their son Ronald
was born six months later. They announced their separation in November