What if Porto had retained their best players in the last decade?
FC Porto, arguably the biggest club in Portugal and second only to SL Benfica on a domestic level, conquered Europe under the guidance of Jose Mourinho 12 years ago. The club, who have won the Portuguese top division 27 times, captured the UEFA Champions League in grand fashion back in 2004, having won it in 1987 as well.
Since then, they haven’t been able to reach those heights, only winning the Europa League five years ago, their second since 2003.
Competition has gotten better all around, but Porto could have done so much better, had they retained their top players over these last ten years. If you look back at all the world-class players who have gone through there, you could put together a pretty amazing team.
Since 2004, Porto have made over £500 million by selling their stars. Let’s see how things would look if they had done otherwise.
Beto wasn’t actually sold, but released. He spent just two years with Porto, mainly serving as a back-up keeper to Helton, after joining in 2009.
The Lisbon-born stopper was used mostly in domestic cup competitions, and will always be remembered for saving a spot kick in the 2011 Portuguese Cup final with the scores level at 2-2. Porto would go on to win the trophy 6-2.
He would be loaned out to CFR Cluj in 2012, and was released by the club at the end of the loan spell. He joined Braga, thereafter, but would end up at Sevilla, where he would help the Spanish outfit win the Europa League in 2013 by saving two penalties.