Benfica XI of players sold since 2010 amid Darwin Nunez Premier League links
Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez looks set to be the next Benfica superstar who is sold for big money by the Portuguese giants.
The Lisbon-based side have both produced a conveyor belt of talent and helped nurture some of the biggest names across Europe.
The 22-year-old Nunez scored his 34th goal of the season against Maritimo last night and Benfica’s number nine has been linked with a move to the Premier League.
However, ESPN are reporting that Benfica do not plan to consider anything less than £110 million for the striker this summer.
With the former Almeria forward set to be one of the stories of the summer transfer window, we have put together a former Benfica XI of high-profile players sold by the club since 2010…
Manchester City splashed out £35m in the summer of 2017 to bring the Brazilian international to the Etihad.
Ederson had only spent one season as number one at the Estadio da Luz but Pep Guardiola was convinced the ball-playing goalkeeper was the perfect man for his total football style.
Since arriving in Manchester, the 28-year-old has won 10 trophies, including three Premier League titles and has established himself as one of Europe’s best stoppers.
Nuno Espirito Santo signed the Portuguese full-back from Spanish giants Barcelona in a deal that could be worth £37m in September 2020.
The Portuguese international played 124 times for the Nou Camp side after being signed from Benfica in July 2017.
The 28-year-old who scored twice for the Catalans has already matched that goal tally in the Black Country despite playing 61 games less.
The Iceman was brought to Old Trafford from Benfica by Jose Mourinho for £31m in June 2017 and became United’s most expensive defender, overtaking the £29.1m paid for Rio Ferdinand in 2002.
The Sweden national captain has had to play second fiddle to Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane at times this season and it will be interesting to see where United’s number two stands when Erik ten Hag arrives.
The 27-year-old has played 193 times for the Reds, but is yet to win a trophy with the twenty-times league champions.
Manchester City splashed out £65m to Benfica in September 2020 to bring the Portuguese centre-halve to Manchester.
City’s defence has been much-improved since Dias arrived at the club and he’ll be looking to build on the two trophies he lifted in his first season at the club.
Not to the same influential effect, but Dias’ importance to the City side is similar to that of Virgil van Dijk’s at Liverpool.
Guardiola’s side signed the attack-minded Portuguese full-back from Juventus for £60m in August 2019, in a deal which saw Danilo move to Turin for £34.1m.
Cancelo came through the Benfica Academy before moving to La Liga side Valencia in 2015 where he ended up playing 16 games under Gary Neville.
Currently in his third season in English football, the 27-year-old established himself as one of the best full-backs in the league who is capable of chipping in with crucial goals and assists.
The all-action midfielder only spent one season with Benfica after being signed from Cruzeiro before Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea signed the Brazilian for around £17m in August 2010.
Ramires made 251 appearances for the Stamford Bridge side before moving to China in 2016.
During his time in west London, the 35-year-old won the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.
On that famous night in the Nou Camp back in April 2012, Ramires was coolness personified when lobbing Victor Valdes before Fernando Torres booked the Blues’ place in the final which Ramires missed through suspension.
Chelsea re-signed the dominant Serbian from Benfica for £21m in January 2014, three years after allowing him to move to Portugal as part of the David Luiz deal.
Matic made 151 appearances for Chelsea during his second spell with the club before following Jose Mourinho, the man who brought him back to west London, to Old Trafford.
The 33-year-old is set to leave the Red Devils when his contract expires at the end of June and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the left-footer link up with his former Portuguese boss for a third time in Rome.
Angel di Maria
After three years in Lisbon following his first move to Europe from his native Argentina, Di Maria became Mourinho’s first signing at Real Madrid after being signed from Benfica for £20.3m.
Despite winning the Champions League with Madrid just months prior, Di Maria was sold by Florentino Perez to mitigate the arrival of James Rodriguez.
The Argentine was bought by Manchester United but things quickly turned sour at Old Trafford and the 34-year-old moved to Paris Saint Germain a year later.
Di Maria looks set to leave the French capital this summer after winning 19 trophies at the Parc des Princes. From 292 matches for PSG, the creative left-footer has scored 91 goals and provided 117 assists.
Another graduate of the Benfica Academy, Bernardo only had one season in the Benfica first team before being signed by the riches of Monaco.
The attacking midfielder had three seasons in Ligue 1 before being signed by Manchester City for £43m in the summer of 2017.
Despite wanting to pursue another challenge and leave City last summer, the Portuguese international has been a key part of Guardiola’s side this campaign.
Atletico Madrid signed Portugal forward Felix for 126m euros (£113m) from Benfica in the fifth most expensive transfer in history in July 2019.
The price Diego Simeone’s side paid could be the benchmark when sides are chasing Nunez this summer.
From 111 games for the reigning La Liga champions, the 22-year-old has scored 29 goals and provided 15 assists, but under El Cholo he is playing in a side that isn’t used to playing free-flowing attacking football.
The Serbian only made four appearances for the Benfica first team before joining Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt on loan, and then on a permanent basis when the German outfit activated a clause, following a two-year loan spell from Benfica.
Jovic’s 2018/19 performances which brought 27 goals caught the interest of Real Madrid and Los Blancos splashed out in excess of £50m to sign the striker in July 2019.
But the 24-year-old has struggled to ignite his career in the Spanish capital and he has three goals from 49 appearances.
A move away from the Spanish giants may be needed for Jovic this summer in an attempt to reignite his stuttering career.
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