In the history of football there have always been clubs with a higher buying percentage and others with a more selling profile. It is not necessary to do much memory to remember and recognize teams that each transfer market achieve great incorporations at stratospheric prices, teams like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Chelsea or United are several of the teams that come to us the head to undertake flashy signings.
On the other hand, to identify teams that have a more sales profile, we have to do a little more memory. Today, the two great teams that have cornered the sales market in Europe are the two great Portuguese: Benfica and Porto.
Regulars in national competition. These annual sales have not undermined much of the two clubs domestically, where they hold the vast majority of titles year after year. Benfica is the club with the most leagues (37), ahead of Porto (30), which is second.
The Benfica squad in the 2021-22 season. / Photo: @slbenfica
Low level in Europe.
Seeing that these teams are not enough to compete at a good level in the Champions League, they fall to European competitions of another level such as the Europa League or the Conference League. In these parts, the Portuguese do have the potential to reach higher levels. Without going any further, in 2003 and just the year before their second Champions League, Porto achieved their first UEFA by beating Celtic Glasgow 3-2. Not even 10 years passed, 2011, and we saw the port club again in another European final, this time in the Europa League format, beating Athletic Club de Bilbao by a landslide.
Béla Guttmann’s curse on Benfica. The Hungarian was the great architect of the golden age of eagles in Europe. With him on the bench, they won the European Cups in 1961 and 1962. Disenchanted with the board, after not having received an economic prize, he left the club. His promise was lapidary and even now he pursues Benfica: without him, the Portuguese team would not win a European title in 100 years. Sixty years and eight European finals later, Benfica is still haunted by Béla Guttman’s famous allegation.
Benfica players and fans celebrate the 1961 Champions Cup. / Photo: @slbenfica
Sales teams in Spain. If we have to give an example that could be compared with the two Portuguese teams in Spain, that would undoubtedly be Sevilla. Hand in hand with its sports director, Monchi, they have managed to make the Seville club a competitive team, without stopping selling players at high prices every summer. The work of Monchi and his entire team every summer is commendable, always bringing between 5 and 10 new players and almost always with a good performance for the Nervion team. Players like Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic or Ben Yedder have arrived at low cost and have filled Sevilla’s coffers after their sales.
Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, Monchi, sports director of Sevilla. / Photo: fichajes.net
The pits. The academies of these teams have a lot to say on this subject, with an infrastructure and means well below the great Europeans, they manage to get every five years, a batch of 2 or 3 players who end up standing out at the international level. Cases like these are Sergio Ramos at Sevilla, Deco at Porto or Joao Félix at Benfica. @worldwide