Not many soccer fanatics expected the seemingly undefeatable Bayern Munich to be on the losing side of club competition anytime soon, especially to exit as early as the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The Bavarian club has dominated the global football scene for a few years now, but they were thoroughly outplayed in their fixture against FC Porto in Portugal.
Although FC Porto is one of my go-to FIFA 15 teams, they are not as well-known as some of the other top clubs due to the relative weakness of their domestic league. They aren’t as well represented as top clubs from other leagues, as the Portuguese league is not considered one of the top five European clubs. As a result, Portuguese clubs have limited access to European competitions, such as the Champions League or the Europa League. However, FC Porto has proven its quality with this remarkable recent win over Bayern Munich.
The truth is that FC Porto is an extremely underappreciated club. Despite the fact their success in international football is somewhat harmed by the relative weakness of their domestic league, we can see their high level of success through a different perspective: their historic development of players. So many top players spread across European leagues have been gone through FC Porto in their rise to success. Players like Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez, Falcao, Hulk, Pepe, and Deco have all contributed to Porto’s success at one point in their careers. The fact that FC Porto has been able to lay hands on these players is impressive, but what is more impressive is how they use them in the long run. The way that they acquire these players in the first place, who are mostly from South America, is that they provide an incredibly comfortable environment for their players. This runs especially easily with players from Brazil, because both the two countries share a common language. Thus, when players with great potential hope to make the switch to European football, they look towards clubs in Portugal as a stepping stone to the larger stage. FC Porto understands this with the realization that some players might not see FC Porto as their final home. To the club, the players with great potential are investments. Thus, when the players’ potentials are reached, the club is fine with selling them off to the larger club the players hoped to be at for a hefty sum. This mindset brought the club a net total of 343 million pounds over the last decade. This is a ridiculous amount of profit considering that they are regularly the champions of their domestic league.
The presence of the club like FC Porto is beneficial also for other European clubs. As mentioned before, many South American players with great potential move to Portugal hoping that the transition doesn’t hit them as strongly. Once and if the players do settle well in Europe, then the bigger European clubs sweep in to sign those players. Although they might need to pay a significantly larger amount to secure the players signature, having the players go through a club like FC Porto immensely reduces the risk of them not settling into their new club. Not many of the players who went through the FC Porto first team have seriously failed at their next clubs, with the exception of Ricardo Quaresma (who has rekindled his career since returning to FC Porto, and was an influential player in that crucial game against Bayern Munich). Especially for super rich clubs who have the cash to splash, paying a bit more for already established players is an extremely good deal.
As FC Porto have created an image as a selling club, they constantly overprice their players, and are always looking to sell their more attractive prospects. Even at the moment, they have great potential transfers like Danilo (who has already agreed a move to Real Madrid), Bruno Martins Indi, Yacine Brahimi, Juan Quintero, Alex Sandro, and Vincent Aboubakar. All these players have the quality to play regularly for top tier clubs, and it’s just a matter of time before one of them swoop in.
Porto’s business plan has been doing good for them, their players, and top European teams. Its a shame they don’t get the global recognition that they deserve. But in the end, a football club is as much a business organization as it is a mode of entertainment; in that sense, they should be considered one of the best football clubs in the world.
Photo Credit- SK Rapid Wein, Wikipedia User