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Could This Champion Get Flipped Like The Rest At FC Porto?

The transfer of Iker Casillas from Real Madrid to Porto, from a sporting point of view, looks positive for all involved in the transaction.

However, it would not be surprising if the signing of the Spanish goalkeeper, despite his advanced age, ended up including him in a long list of players who have been bought at low prices and then sold at high ones by the Portuguese team.

According to some reports, the Lusitanians exceeded 750 million euros in profits over the past decade simply by knowing how to buy and sell players. And the club was very successful on the pitch during that period as well. 

Namely, since 2000 Porto has won: nine league titles (Primeira Divisao), six Portuguese Cups, 10 Portuguese Super Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, one Champions League and two Europa League trophies.

On the other hand, Porto exhibits an immense record of income because its scouts have a history of discovering players when they are not well known. The club signs those players, improves them and promotes them within its ranks, and later sells them for amounts quite superior to what they were originally purchased for.

The top 10 highest sales in Porto’s history are:

  1. Hulk (Zenit, 2012): 60 M €
  2. James Rodriguez (Monaco, 2013): 45 M €
  3. Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid, 2011): 40 M €
  4. Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid, 2015): 39 M €
  5. Danilo (Real Madrid, 2015): 31.5 M €
  6. Anderson (Manchester United, 2009): 31 M €
  7. Eliakim Mangala (at Manchester City, 2014): 30.5 M €
  8. Pepe (Real Madrid, 2007): 30 M €
  9. Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea, 2004): 30 M €
  10. Ricardo Quaresma (Inter Milan, 2008): 25 M €

And if you look at the percentages, by selling Frenchman Aly Cissokho to Olympique Lyon, Porto won 540% more than what was spent by buying the player, an incredible figure.

The brain behind those operations is Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa Lima, who is 33rd President in the history of FC Porto since 1982. At the age of 77, he is recognized as the sports leader with the most titles in world soccer.

Casillas is not as young as the previous group. The former Real Madrid goalkeeper is 34 years old – 13 years above the average of the 10 highest sales of the club – but was acquired by 5 million euros, which Porto could recover in an eventual transfer to the MLS or to any Middle East soccer team.

The Spanish goalkeeper comes to the Dragons with the security of being the outright first choice keeper and the opportunity to play in the next Champions League season. His only competitor as a goalkeeper is the Brazilian Helton, who is 37 years old.

Although Jose Mourinho declared 5 million euros too much money for a player at Casillas’ stage of his career, recall that the goalkeeper position is one that can be played by the oldest soccer players, and Casillas himself stated last January that in the future he'd like to play in a different league, to live an adventure that might make him a part of the MLS.

But many kilometers away from North America there are also options. Teams like Al Jazeera and Al Wahda of the United Arab Emirates and Al Sadd, Al Ahli and Al Arabi Doha of Qatar have already signed big name players during advanced stages of their careers. Several Spanish soccer players have already played in those lands: Josep Guardiola, Raul and more recently Xavi Hernandez, bringing all that Real Madrid-Barcelona excitement.

Whether or not Casillas joins those players in the middle east remains to be seen, but one thing seems to be certain: Porto has a plan to get the most out of their new keeper. 

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