BENFICA’s buy-low, sell-high business model has led to domestic success, but the £500m talent leaving the club could have robbed them of greater glory.
A stunning array of star players have walked through the doors of the Lisbon club over the past decade showing their eye for a gem.
An impressive eleven can be built from former Benfica players – with plenty of reserves.
Joao Felix’s summer 2019 deal, with Atletico Madrid paying £115m, remains their biggest sale, but Mega 15 players have left between £20m and £35m over the last 10 years.
The Eagles’ recent loss to Darwin Nunez is the second-most expensive exit as Liverpool could shell out as much as £85million on the forward.
Jurgen Klopp’s side paid £64m up front for his services but they could have to pay the extra £21m in the future to meet the projected figure.
Manchester City defender Ruben Dias is next up Arrive in £64m deal to snuff out David Luiz’s £22m effort.
His team-mate goalkeeper Ederson follows with a defense from Nelson Semedo, Victor Lindelof and Fabio Coentrao, earning Benfica a combined £87m.
A pairing of Axel Witsel and Renato Sanches represents two central midfielders who were sold for huge profits early in their careers.
And with Angel Di Maria and Goncalo Guedes joining them in a £121m midfield, there’s not even room for Nemanja Matic.
The Serbian slugger joined Chelsea in 2014 for a “meaning” £21m, meaning he misses the cut for this line-up along with £13m playmaker Bernardo Silva.
Exit fees for Lazar Markovic, Nico Gaitan and Enzo Perez also surpassed £20million – and yet it’s not enough for our XI.
Nuno Tavares traded Benfica for Arsenal in the summer of 2021 but doesn’t make our starting XI as his cheap £7m transfer fee doesn’t match the £27m Coentrao joined Real Madrid in 2011.
Ahead, Felix is working with Nunez to oust Wolves’ record-breaking £30m deal and buy Raul Jimenez.
If all those players had stayed, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Benfica reaching the final stages of the Champions League and even threatening to win the competition.
Add in the likes of Jan Oblak, Joao Cancelo and Luka Jovic and suddenly the team looks almost confident.
Sure enough, the Portuguese giants have two European Cup victories to their credit, but a decade in which they only reached two Champions League quarter-finals and lost two Europa League finals could have been very different.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/253789/champions-league-transfers-benfica-felix-dias-lindelof-nunez/ Former Benfica XI stars would be in contention for Champions League after selling £500m of talent in past decade – The US Sun