Former Benfica XI stars would be in contention for Champions League after selling £600m of talent in past decade – The US Sun
BENFICA’s buy-low, sell-high business model has led to success domestically, but the £600m+ 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, which sees Atletico Madrid pay Benfica £115m, remains their biggest sale, but 15 mega players left between £20m and £35m over the past decade.
Then comes the record-breaking British transfer fee of £107m Chelsea paid on deadline in January 2023 to trigger Enzo Fernandez’s release clause after a drawn-out saga.
Losing Darwin Nunez in June 2022 is the second most expensive exit as Liverpool could end up spending as much as £85m on the striker.
Jurgen Klopp’s side paid £64m upfront for his services but they may need to come up with the extra £21m in the future to match the projected figure.
Manchester City defender Ruben Dias is next up Arrive in £64m deal to snuff out David Luiz’s £22m efforts.
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 joins Fernandez in central midfield, all three having been sold for huge profits early in their careers.
And with £30m Angel Di Maria joining Felix and Nunez in attack to complete the £587m starting XI, there isn’t even room for £27m Goncalo Guedes or Nemanja Matic.
The Serbian slugger joined Chelsea in 2014 for a “meaning” £21million, meaning he misses the cut for this line-up along with £13million 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.
Up front, Felix is working with Nunez to oust Wolves’ £30m 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 name, 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/soccer/253789/benfica-transfers-champions-league-darwin-nunez-joao-felix/ Former Benfica XI stars would be in contention for Champions League after selling £600m of talent in past decade – The US Sun