August is still four long months away, yet we already have our first signing of the summer. To the surprise of almost no one, Real Madrid has signed right-back Danilo from Porto. The 23-year-old moved to the Portuguese club in January 2012 and has racked up 134 appearances since then, along with 13 caps for Brazil.
But El Real spending $34 million on a player isn’t really news these days. That’s change found in the couch cushions after Florentino Pérez stands up. What’s interesting, however, is the sheer amount Porto has made since winning the Champions League a decade ago.
James Rodríguez, Radamel Falco, Hulk – these are just a few of the big names that Porto has sold on to clubs willing to part with large sums of cash. According to the tweet above, the club has spent less than half of that ($394 million) rebuilding the squad.
With that kind of money, you might expect a hefty collection of silverware. And yes, over the last decade, it’s won eight domestic titles. But the one Europa League title doesn’t make up for the lack of further impact in the Champions League, and last season’s third-place finish wasn’t exactly cause for celebration.
Of course, if Porto can pull off a surprise victory over Bayern Munich in the upcoming Champions League quarterfinals, few questions will be raised about the use of that money. But should the side embarrass itself, then wind up missing out on the domestic title again, perhaps people will wonder what, exactly, the point is. Is grooming players for profit worth it, when the majority of the money seems to wind up in agents’ pockets?