There is method in this seemingly mad question.
Over the last ten years FC Porto have added 24 trophies to their ever expanding cabinet including an astonishing eight Portuguese Liga titles, two UEFA Cups and a European Champions League.
However, perhaps even more impressive is that within the past decade they have made just short of £400million from transfer profits alone, selling key players and bringing in fresh, incredible talents to replace them, in a continuous cycle of brilliant player engineering.
The Portuguese champions rely heavily on a scouting regime which stretches across South America, in particular Argentina. They believe in giving youth players’ first team action on a regular basis, presenting them the chance to attract Europe’s most elite forces. It is this philosophy which has manufactured some of the biggest transfer deals in the history of the game.
Players such as Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez were purchased for around £4 million each and were sold on for £34.7 million and £38.5 million respectively. The likes of Deco, Paulo Ferreira, José Bosingwa, Maniche and Ricardo Carvalho, who in their heydays were outstanding players, were brought into the side either through the youth academy, or for less than £1 million. Between these five players, FC Porto amassed a profit of £73.6 million.
It’s not just the players, even the managers are “sold” for profit. Porto received £1.3 million for the services of José Mourinho to Chelsea, and better still a massive £13.5 million for treble winning manager Andre Villas-Boas. Boas was of course sacked by Chelsea just nine months later.
Yet, despite all of this activity, Porto have consistently performed at the top of their game. They have a sustainable system for success that just breeds new characters and the transfer stories that go with them. Don’t be surprised if we see the names Jackson Martinez, Danilo, Eliaquim Mangala or Diego Reyes over the back pages of the newspapers as they continue to impress within the most unique model that is FC Porto.