Porto are definitely very nimble on their feet in the transfer market, leaving many of their more illustrious (and staid) peers in the shade.Their model is sustainable, but involves rigor and professionalism in all the areas of the club. From finance, to scouting. The success of FC Porto is also intertwined with the three decades of leadership of its president.
Here is my first eleven of the best deals done by them...
GK: Vitor Baia
Subject of a hugely controversial transfer ,the portuguese keeper joined barcelona in 1996. However he failed to adopt to the Catalan way of life and went back to Porto on loan in the summer. His transfer fee is still a question.
RB; Paulo Ferreira – Signed £0/ Sold £13.2million
Ferreira was signed by Porto from Vitoria de Setubal after impressing in
the Portuguese domestic league. Mourinho transformed him into an
attacking full back, having previously been a right midfielder. He had
an exceptional two seasons at Porto, winning a treble in his first and a
league and Champions League double in his second. He joined Carvalho
and Mourinho at Chelsea at the start of the 2004/05 season.
Ricardo Carvalho – Signed £0/ Sold £20million
Carvalho was signed for Porto’s youth team at the age of 17. He broke
into the first team in 2001/02 and went on to play 115 times for the
club winning 3 league titles, a UEFA Cup and a Champions League in the
process. During the Champions League winning season, Carvalho was chased
by several top clubs across Europe. In the end it was Roman
Abramovich’s Chelsea who had just hired Jose Mourinho, Carvalho’s
manager at Porto, who stumped up the cash to take him to Stamford
Pepe – Signed £750,000 plus Tonel, Evandro and Antonielton Ferreira/ Sold £25million
After Mourinho left, Porto’s first signing was youngster Pepe in an
extremely part exchange deal. He had a breakthrough season in 2005/06,
helping the club win back to back domestic titles and being the leader
in Co Adriaanse’s 3-4-3 formation, really coming of age. In 2007, Real
Madrid came calling, seeing his clear potential and paid £25million for
Pepe’s services. It was another huge profit for the Portuguese club.
Aly Cissokho – Signed £200,000/ Sold £12million
Porto signed Cissokho in 2009 for a small fee of £200,000 after he
impressed for Vitoria de Setubal. He won a league and cup double in his
six months at Porto and impressed during their run in the Champions
League that season, catching the eye of AC Milan and Lyon in the
process. Milan had agreed a deal to take Cissokho to the San Siro but it
fell through due to a medical. A month later, Lyon matched Milan’s bid
and purchased Cissokho. Porto made an impressive £11.8million profit on
him in six months.
Ricardo Quaresma – Signed £4million (playing rights evaluated in Deco deal)/ Sold £14.75million plus Pele
Often referred to as the ‘biggest waste of talent’ of the last
decade, Ricardo Quaresma had his best spell of his career at Porto. The
only thing bigger than Quaresma’s talent was his ego, which was his
eventual downfall. He didn’t get on with then Barcelona manager Frank
Rijkaard and Porto saw an opportunity to do some business, gaining his
services as their key man Deco moved in the opposite direction. After
148 appearances in Portugal, he moved to Inter Milan for £14.75million
plus young midfielder Pele (yes, Pele).
Deco – Signed £100,000/ Sold £12.5million plus Ricardo Quaresma
Deco was arguably Porto’s most impressive player in the Champions
League winning season. Signed after impressing on loan at Salgueiros the
previous season, Deco went onto make 226 appearance for Porto and was a
world class attacking midfielder who loved to score and make goals. He
eventually switched to Barcelona for £12.5million plus Ricardo Quaresma
after talks between him and his old manager Mourinho broke down.
Raul Meireles – Signed £0/ Sold £11.5million
Meireles was signed at the same time as Pepe, the season after
Mourinho left and had an extremely impressive six years at the club. He
made 191 appearances for Porto, scoring 19 and assisting 30 goals. He
won three league titles and two cups for the club until Liverpool came
calling in 2010, paying £11.5million for his services.
Lisandro Lopez – Signed £2million/ Sold £20million
Lisandro moved alongside Lucho from River plate in 2005 in which turned
out to be one of the best pieces of business in the club’s history.
Coincidentally, they also left the club at the same time as each other.
Lisandro also won those four titles at the club, making 143 appearances
and scoring an impressive 63 goals. He was sold to Lyon to replace Karim
Benzema at ten times the amount they purchased him for.
Hulk – Signed £15million (over three years)/ Sold £39.5million
The most eye-catching sale of the lot was the most recent when Zenit
purchased the charismatic Brazilian for an almighty £39.5million in the
summer of 2012. He is known as Hulk due to his likeness to a comic book
character and initially started his career in Japan until Porto’s scouts
spotted him. Hulk scored 78 goals for Porto in 169 appearances, forging
a magnificent partnership with Falcao for a couple of years.
Radamel Falcao – Signed £3million plus Mario Bolatti/ Sold £33million
Falcao had an incredible goalscoring record in his two season at
Porto after signing from River Plate in 2009 to replace the outgoing
Lisandro. Falcao won a league title and a Europa League at the club,
scoring an incredible 72 goals in 87 appearances. He set a new
goalscoring record in the Europa League of 17 goals in a single
tournament in 2010/11 too. He made his name as one of the deadliest
strikers in Europe and in 2011 Atletico Madrid splashed out over
£30million on him.
There are Porto’s major transfer profits over the last ten years and
they are mightily impressive. Added to the players, they have been able
to make a profit on their managers too. Chelsea have paid compensation
for two of their managers in the last twenty years, They paid
£1.7million in compensation for Jose Mourinho in 2004 and a hefty
£13.3million for treble winning manager Andre Villas Boas who had an
undeafeated season at the club. ‘AVB’ as he is known in England was of
course sacked by Chelsea after just nine months in charge which makes
this deal all the more remarkable.
In the current crop of players there are sure to be some high profile
sales in the next summer and years to come. For example, James
Rodriguez was signed for £4million in 2010 and has been linked with
moves all across Europe including Manchester United who are reportedly
willing to pay £30million for him. Joao Moutinho, who almost moved to
Tottenham Hotspur for £25million last summer, was signed for £8.5million
in 2010. They could make another hefty profit on him. Jackson Martinez
was signed for £8million this summer and has had an extremely impressive
first season at Porto, expect him to be moved on one day for a massive
profit too. Other players who fall into the same bracket include young
Belgian Steven Defour, French defender Eliaquim Mangala, Brazilian
winger Kelvin and Brazilian full backs Danilo and Alex Sandro.
Thanks be to T. Scott