The Porto XI That Could Have Been
With talent scouting in the Premier League now seemingly reduced to the top clubs spunking tens of millions on marquee names or on whoever's had a decent campaign during the previous season, it's refreshing to remind ourselves of how effective FC Porto have been at identifying some of the finest players in the world before they're swallowed up by the giants of European football.
With news breaking in Portugal recently that the 27 time Portuguese champions are planning a huge clear out of their top talent in order to alleviate some financial hardships, it'll be interesting to see where the likes of Yacine Brahimi, skipper Hector Herrera and highly rated youngsters Ruben Neves and Andre Silva end up.
Whoever the two time European champions end up losing, they'll likely continue to prosper as they have done for many years, scouring the globe for even more unpolished diamonds. In case you need any further proof of just how effective Porto have been at losing star players while continuing to compete on a domestic and continental level, have a look at this XI of players they've lost down the years, with the exception of goalkeeper Helton, who replaced the now retired, 47 year old Vitor Baia between the sticks in 2005 and has remained there ever since:
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Bear in mind that the likes of Ricardo Quaresma, Lisandro Lopez, Nicolas Otamendi, Paolo Ferreira, Fernando, Freddy Guarin and , erm, Anderson don't even make the first XI, and you get an idea of just how much talent has passed through the The Estádio do Dragão over the past few years.
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