Luso Football

Blog dedicado às Camadas Jovens/Futebol de Formação do Sporting Clube de Portugal.

quinta-feira, julho 13, 2006

The 20 Million Euro Man

For 12 months we have been hearing about Benfica's attempts on cashing out on Simão Sabrosa.

In the Summer of 1999 Sporting Lisbon sold a then 19 year old (and absolutely brilliant player at that age) Simão Sabrosa to FC Barcelona for 15 million euros and that was a LOT of money to pay for a teenager 7 years ago especially when the Portuguese market didn't have the value it has achieved 2003 onward.

In the Summer of 2001 Benfica buys Simão then aged 21 for 12 million euros in the most expensive signing in the club's history.

In the Summer of 2005 Liverpool Football club offered 12 million euros for Simão and eventually raised it's offer up to 15 million Euros and in the last days of August they showed a willingness to go all the way up to 18 million euros and Benfica kept asking for more and more very time untill they settled on the 18 million mark but at the last moment they again wanted more and asked for 20 million Euros or no deal and so the transfer that seemed all ready to go was aborted at the last minute with the player supposedly already in a plane waiting to depart for England but told by Benfica officials that the deal was now off.

One year later and Benfica hasn't backed one inch and still want 20 million for a player for which they paid 12 million when he was 5 years younger. Considering that Simão turns 27 on the 31st of October one needs to ask when was the last time a 27 year old Portuguese winger was sold for such an expensive ammount?

Figo went for free at 22.

Quaresma a mere 6,5 million at 19

Sérgio Conceição for 10 million at 23.

Simão costed 15 million at 19.

Ronaldo sold for 17,5 million at 18.

Could Manchester United sell 21 year old Ronaldo for 20 to 30 million euros? Yes.
Is Quaresma at 22 presently worth 12 to 15 million? Yes.
Will anybody pay 20 million for Simão? I would be absolutely shocked if anybody paid above 15 million euros for him these days.

Simão in his last season at Sporting in 1998/99 was incredible for his age having scored 10 goals which for a 19 year old winger was quite impressive. In his first season at Benfica in 2001/02 he was only 21 and was hungry to show he was still the same player we remembered and had a fantastic season which ended early due to a knee injury.
In 2002/03 and 2003/04 under José António Camacho's leadership I thought we saw the very best Simão when he was enthusiastic and delivered good game after good game and notched 30 goals in 64 games.

But in the last 2 seasons I don't think he is anywhere near as good, as ambitious or as consistent as he was in 2002-04, this may be because neither Giovanni Trapattoni nor Ronald Koeman can motivate him as much as the energetic Camacho. It might be because he has lost a step or 2 because he used to relly on his explosive sprint and dribbling ability to get past opponents but these last 2 seasons he seems to have lost some speed and pace. It could be he left Barcelona for Benfica possibly thinking he would re-establish his marquee value in a season or 2 and "launch" himself back into a bigger foreign club but after 2-3 seasons he might be starting to realise that he's not getting any younger and he had hoped for more than this by this stage and the club's reluctance to let him go has possibly killed off some of his ambition and drive to push himself.

In 2002-04 I used to say Simão carried Benfica and indeed without him the team went nowhere in those 2 years and when he was injured it showed in the team's performance as they were "Simão-Dependant" but in the 2 seasons afterwards we saw that Tiago, Miguel, Petit and a few others stepped up and by late 2005 when Simão was injured his absence wasn't even that traumatic to the team (as it was in early 2002 or when Miguel was injured in late 2004). The team has learned to live without him and the fans don't hold on as thightly to him as they used because they realise he's no longer as vital.

Simão still scored quite a few goals in the last 2 seasons (23 in his last 58 League Games) but that statistic is missleading considering that he is the team's official penalty taker and takes the majority of Free-Kicks.

Simão Sabrosa's 10 seasons as a Professional:

1996/97: Sporting, 2 League Games (57 minutes), 1 Goal.

1997/98: Sporting, 21 League games, 1 Goal.

1998/99: Sporting, 30 League Games (2554 minutes), 10 Goals.

1999/00: Barcelona, 21 League Games, 1 Goal.

2000/01: Barcelona, 25 League Games, 2 Goals, 2 YCs, 1 RC.

2001/02: Benfica, 26 League Games (2286 minutes), 11 Goals.

2002/03: Benfica, 33 League Games (2914 minutes), 18 Goals.

2003/04: Benfica, 31 League Games (2710 minutes), 12 Goals.

2004/05: Benfica, 34 League Games (3060 minutes), 15 Goals.

2005/06: Benfica, 24 League Games (2067 minutes), 8 Goals.

20 million for Simão Sabrosa in 2006? I don't believe it, I think Benfica's management is bluffing and the further they delay his sale the less money they'll get for him. 12 million for this Simão would be a great business deal, getting 12-15 million plus Dibril Cissé 12 months ago would have been highway robbery.