Another season in which FC Porto needs to sell their biggest star isn’t a surprise to anyone. Maybe the price, something around €60 million paid by Zenit for Brazilian forward Hulk, is somewhat of a surprise, and the destination, instead of the Premier League, could be surprising as well.
But for Porto to do great business? Nothing new about that. For over a decade now, the best club in Portugal and one of the most successful in Europe, winning 8 league titles, two Europa League/UEFA Cup trophies and one Champions League title, fish out great talent and then sell them to the richest clubs in Europe, beginning the cycle once again.
Not all the money goes to Porto. Just like in Brazil, which is somewhat of a problem in certain situations, Porto split the money with a third party owner, but they still make one hell of a profit over the players they sell, seeing as they pay close to nothing plenty of times to get some of the most talented players (as it later turns out) in Europe.
The first on the list is Ricardo Carvalho, now a unwanted persona with Real Madrid despite the long road he’s had with Jose Mourinho. Carvalho grew up from the Porto youth system, selling him to Chelsea for €30 million in 2004. Carvalho, capped 75 times for the national team, played six season for Chelsea before moving on to Real Madrid.
Paulo Ferreira is another one of the Mourinho boys, joining Chelsea after winning the Champions League alongside Mourinho. Ferreira spent a relatively short time with Porto, arriving from Vitoria Setubal in 2002, hardly costing anything, but he was sold to Chelsea for €20 million.
Deco, also part of the group that one the Champions League title didn’t go with Mourinho to Chelsea, arriving at the British club years later. Deco was signed for €0.1 million from Salguieros after Benfica gave up on him, leading to five excellent seasons for the dragons, and eventually being sold to Barcelona for €15 million.
Maniche is another player Benfica didn’t believe enough in, hardly costing anything when he arrived at Porto in 2002, going on to star for both club and country before being sold for €16 million to Dynamo Moscow, later on moving to Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Inter.
The king of brutes, Brazilian born Pepe, came to Porto after they’ve won the Champions League, signed from Maritimo for €1 million. After three seasons with the club, he was sold to Real Madrid in 2007 for €30 million.
Anderson Luis de Abreu Oliveira, or simply Anderson, was quite an expensive signing for Porto, purchasing him at the age of 17 for €7 million from Gremio in Brazil. Anderson played only 18 matches for the club before moving on to Manchester United, sold for €30 million.
Ricardo Quaresma, an immense talent with an even bigger ego grew up through the fantastic Sporting youth system, leading him to a disappointing spell with Barcelona. Porto signed him from Barca for €6 million, turning him into the best player in Portugal during his four seasons with the club before selling him to Inter for €18.6 million.
Jose Bosingwa was signed by Porto in 2003, spotted by Mourinho, taking him away from Boavista. He played with Porto for five seasons before being sold to Chelsea for €20.6 million.
Argentinian Lisandro Lopez arrived at Porto from Racing in Argentina back in 2005, signed for €2.5 million. He went on to score 50 goals in four seasons for the club before getting sold to Lyon for €24 million.
Lucho Gonzalez made the same road Lisandro Lopez did. Argentina (River Plate), purchased by Porto for €6.6 million and after four seasons with the team, sold to a French club, this time Marseille, for €18 million.
Porto had defender Aly Cissokho for only half a season, signing 60% of the rights to the player for only €300,000. In the summer of 2009 they sold him to AC Milan, who later cancelled the deal due to a failed medical, eventually landing the French player with Lyon for €15 million.
Bruno Alves was the first big name to make the Porto – Zenit connection, selling the centre back who was with the club since 1998 (age of 17) to the Russian club for €22 million in 2010.
Radamel Falcao was purchased from River Plate for just under €4 million, scoring 41 goals in 51 matches for Porto before moving on to Atletico Madrid for the fee of €40 million which may rise to €47 million based on his performances.
Colombian midfielder 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.
Givanildo Vieira de Souza, Hulk, was one of the biggest names circulating in transfer rumors this summer, eventually ending the speculations after Zenit managed to sign the Brazilian for €55 million. Hulk cost Porto €19 million, for 80% of him that is, scoring 54 goals in his 99 matches for the club.