The amazing success of Porto in the Portuguese league continues, winning nine league titles in the last 11 seasons, keeping their dominance in Portugal despite their habit of selling their best players (at incredible prices) after (usually) only a season or two of making the most of their arrivals, with James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho leaving to Monaco being the latest expensive examples.
It’s not like Porto are making an incredible profit. Almost every player on the team, especially the foreign ones, come with a third-side ownership attached, which means Porto usually make about only 25% of the transfer fee, although it does change depending on the player. But whatever they’re doing, it’s probably the right way to nurture success, both at home and abroad, winning the Champions League in 2004 (their second European Cup) and being competitive in the competition most of the time (reached the knockout stage this season).
Porto have always been somewhat of a feeder club to richer European teams, but they really began getting amazing prices for their players in 2004, after Jose Mourinho won back-to-back European trophies with the team and became and overnight managerial sensation, leading him to Chelsea.
Ricardo Carvalho, someone who actually grew up through the Porto youth system, was sold to Chelsea in 2004 for €30 million. Along with him Paulo Ferreira was also sold to Chelsea, going for €20 million. Deco, another hero from the Champions League team, was sold to Barcelona for €15 million, although part of the deal was the transfer of Ricardo Quaresma from Barca to Porto. The same Quaresma, who cost Porto (after all the deductions) €7 million, was sold to Inter in 2009 for €18.6. Maniche is another player from that triumphant side who was sold, going to Dynamo Moscow for €16 million.
Pepe arrived at the club from Maritimo for €1 million, later sold to Real Madrid (2007) for €30 million. Anderson, who Manchester United are trying to get rid of, came from Gremio for €7 million, and after only 18 matches was sold to Manchester United for €30 million. Jose Bosingwa, who seems to be at the punch line of every joke about QPR these days, was quite a coveted player in the previous decade, eventually landing in Chelsea (2008) for €20.6 million.
Lisandro Lopez had four quite productive seasons for Porto after arriving from Racing in Argentina for €2.5 million, and was sold to Lyon for €24 million. Lucho Gonzalez, now back with the team, was sold to Marseille for €18 million after being purchased from River Plate for €6.6 million. He returned to Porto on January 2012 from Marseille on a free transfer.
Aly Cissokho for only half a season, signing 60% of the rights to the player for only €300,000. He was initially sold to AC Milan, but the deal was cancelled, and he eventually landed with Lyon for €15 million. Bruno Alves left to Zenit in 2010, leaving the club he grew up in for €22 million. Falcao was next; he was purchased from River Plate in Argentina for €4 million, but after only two seasons he was sold to Atletico Madrid for the fee of €40 million. He has now made his way to Monaco for around the same price.
Freddy Guarin was purchased from Saint Etienne for €2 million in 2008, playing 63 matches for Porto before a deal that loaned him out to Inter for €1.5 million and later an additional €13.5 million to make the deal permanent. Last summer it was Hulk, purchased from Rentistas in Uruguay for €19 million (eventually), giving them 80% of his economic rights. He was sold to Zenit for €60 million, with Porto receiving €40 million.
In 2013? Porto, after winning a third consecutive title, sold both Joao Moutinho (who they purchased from Sporting in 2010 for €11 million) and James Rodriguez (purchased from Banfield for €7.3 million) for a combined €70 million to AS Monaco.