According to the website Transfermarkt, Benfica is the club that has won the most money with transfers since 2010/11 in the entire world. After João Félix’s transfer of 126 million euros, the Eagles have jumped into the lead, surpassing clubs like Atlético de Madrid or Monaco.
Bargaining power and projection of players
Despite the recent sale of the youngster João Félix, adding to others like Nélson Semedo or Renato Sanches, the truth is that Benfica has been making most of their sales through valorisation of assets on their main team.
Players like Ederson, Axel Witsel, Raul Jimenez, Nico Gaitán, David Luiz, Angel Di Maria, and some others arrived by lower amounts than the ones they eventually left for and that’s where we can see the competence of a club from a peripheral league, capable of valuing their players.
The national projection of the club – Benfica has the biggest fanbase in Portugal, which means the media is generally more interested in highlighting their accomplishments than their woes – allowing them to promote and catapult their players even better.
On the other hand, the subsequent participations on the Champions League throughout the decade also actively contribute towards enhancing their best players cross-borders.
Right now, Benfica has already gained over 900 million Euros in about 9 years, which results on an approximate average of 100 million Euros per season.
Naturally, on this data provided by Transfermarkt, they only count the gains excluding the values paid after the arrival of those players, or the fees paid afterwards to their agents.
Stability and development
The foundations for the creation of a model that allows to generate great profits season after season are clearly the stabilization of a club, which allows them to have competitive rosters every year and, at the same time, create space for young talents to flourish on the main team.
And that has been happening with the Eagles, because they have been winning a good portion of their domestic leagues (Liga NOS) in the past couple of seasons, selling players by high amounts and, still, maintaining strong rosters on the following ones.
Besides that, the club has invested strongly on the development of their youth teams that have become a national and even international benchmark.
Names such as Bernardo Silva, André Gomes, Gonçalo Guedes or Renato Sanches have emerged at Centro de Estágio do Seixal, which is the “home” of Benfica’s youngsters.
And after the sale of João Félix, other names start to appear on the national media as potential stars for the future that may yield more millions for Benfica.
Jota, Tiago Dantas or the central defender Ferro seem to be destined to generate more return for the Portuguese club, not to mention Rúben Dias, that is already heavily desired in Europe and, sooner or later, he will end up leaving for around 60 million Euros.
The importance of Jorge Mendes on this carousel
One of the key elements to create and close out deals such as João Félix’s one is the super-agent Jorge Mendes that continues to shine with his negotiating ability with the clubs.
Many doubted that any club would dare to pay 120 million Euros for the young João Félix, but for Jorge Mendes there are no impossible tasks and Atlético de Madrid would eventually make a move for his signing.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent has influence in several European clubs, with whom he manages to generate advantageous deals for both parties involved, and Benfica has been one of the clubs benefiting from this string of trades.
The way Jorge Mendes has put Raul Jimenez on Wolverhampton and enhanced his potential to the point of selling the Mexican player for a superior value than the one Benfica had purchased him by was another example of his negotiating prowess.
In a certain way, we have a successful partnership here.
Benfica creates the conditions to boost players through their stability on the main team and youth academy and Jorge Mendes shapes the deals the allow both parties to gain a lot of million Euros with every transfer.
FC Porto also standing out
On this list of the 10 clubs that have sold the most since 2010/11, FC Porto also appears on an honourable 8th place with over 700 million Euros gained. Éder Militão, James Rodriguez or Eliaquim Mangala have contributed heavily towards the club’s financial situation.
They have also been standing out recently due to the quality of their youth teams, even having won the Youth League last season.
In any case, the profits of the club with young talents haven’t been significant, with exception for André Silva and Rúben Neves.
We’ll see if in the future FC Porto will also be able to set up a structure that allows them to leverage young players from their youth academy to the point of selling them by generous amounts to great clubs all over Europe.