The supremacy of Portuguese clubs in the international signings of professional players in 2022, in a total of 901 transactions, was already to be expected, assesses the president of the National Association of Football Agents (ANAF), Artur Fernandes.
“It was not [uma surpresa], due to existing legislation in Portugal, the ease with which clubs have to hire athletes of various nationalities and the impact and quality that the country itself has as a great showcase that it is. Much more so at a time of the World Cup, when there was great anticipation for Portugal. From a strategic point of view, it turns out to be attractive for smaller countries in terms of football projection to place their players in that showcase that is Portugal”, reiterated, to the Lusa agency, Artur Fernandes.
The global transfer report, published on Thursday by FIFA, informs that “Portuguese clubs made more signings for the first time than any other association”, while Brazil was the country that transferred the most abroad, with 998 athletes.
Brazil “sent” 338 players to Portugal, the biggest flow of transfers between two countries, much higher than the second most voluminous (166), precisely in the opposite direction, which helped to make national clubs the fourth main “exporters” in the world, with 677 players, behind Brazilians (998), English (836) and Spaniards (778).
“We have noticed that the Portuguese emblems have become more and more into SAD, which have been sold to new investors. are effectively and culturally linked to cities and have their history, but they are also connected to companies that have to make this their business”, indicated Artur Fernandes.
This amount of sales is not proportionally reflected in the financial balance, since Portugal was the fifth country that received the most money, with 533.2 million euros (ME), a value converted from dollars at today’s exchange rate, after France (680.9 ME), Germany (588 ME), Italy (568.2 ME) and England (552.3 ME), and the ninth that paid the most, with 160.6 ME.
“We are a great country, because we are good at football and we know how to promote, work and sell, which is something very good. Congratulations are due to all the players and, for their own sake, the agents, who have been much talked about in recent weeks and deserve this tribute. If there are sales, it is because they also promoted them”, noted the ANAF leader, illustrating with the Portuguese presence in two of the 10 most valuable transactions of 2022.
The acquisition of the Uruguayan Darwin Nuñez by Liverpool earned Benfica 75 ME, which could reach 100 ME, and was only supplanted by the transfer of Frenchman Aurélien Tchouaméni from Monaco to Real Madrid (80 ME fixed and 20 ME in variables), both last summer .
The ninth largest deal was carried out in January 2022 by Colombian Luis Díaz, when he moved from national champions FC Porto to Liverpool, for 45 ME, in a deal that could rise to 60 ME, with Artur Fernandes projecting similar cases .
“It’s a trend that will continue to exist in the coming years and that’s just as well, because it’s a sign that not only are we receiving players, but we’re also able to guide them, which, deep down, is what Portuguese football needs and that clubs and footballers want it. They don’t want to come and stay in Portugal for a long time. They want to serve national clubs within the norm, but, as soon as there is a possibility, they follow their path to other championships in which they can have greater projection”, analyzed .
The top 10 transfers moved 12.5% of the overall amount spent last year and six of them were carried out by clubs located in England, the country that stood out as the country that most invested in strengthening squads, by disbursing 2,022.8 ME.
“There is somehow a greater concern with signing well, not only in the front positions, as was an old trend, but in the middle and mostly at the back. football in the future”, estimated the president of ANAF, stressing the 22% increase in the number of clubs involved in signings in women’s football, from 410 to 500.
After two consecutive years of decline in transfer spending, 4,770 clubs from 182 different associations made 20,209 deals, which translates into an increase of 11.6% compared to 2021 and beat the bar of 2019, having moved almost 6,000 ME, but still far away the record set in the last year before the covid-19 pandemic (6,761 ME).
′′ Gradual market recovery? It wasn’t the month of January that we were counting on, but something could still happen in these remaining days until the closing of the market. In any case, I believe that this trend will always be an increase of five to 10% per year at all levels” , he concluded.