Written by Magnus Gamlem
There’s always been a great commercial potential for Brazilian football. In a country with close to 200 million inhabitants, and an interest for football unlike any other, the club football in Brazil has improved a lot in recent years. More money in club football has led to increased wages, which again has attracted players from Europe to come back to their home country.
The list of players returning is getting longer for every transfer window. Former Brazilian, Deco, was one of the first high-profile players leaving Europe. Along with Olympique Lyon striker, Fred, he took Fluminense to their first league title in 26 years in 2010. When Diego Forlan is playing the derby match in Porto Alegre, Gilberto Silva and Elano faces him at the other half. Maybe the most talented player of the last decade and two time winner of the FIFPro World Player of the Year, Ronaldinho, returned to Brazil in 2011, after ten years in Europe. In Atletico Mineiro he forms the attacking duo with Jô. Luis Fabiano is banging them in for Sao Paolo, and the list of players goes on. Even European stars have decided that Brazil is the place for them, with Clarence Seedorf as the most prominent example.
There is no doubt that the teams now have more money to spend than earlier. More money from sponsors and TV deals and a better marketing staff makes the clubs competitive compared with the European sides. A lot of the players returning, do so with the World Cup 2014 in their minds. In Brazil they are almost guaranteed a place in the starting eleven of their team, and a greater chance of proving themself infront of the national team staff.
Neymar, still plays in Brazil, despite being one of the most wanted players on earth. With larger budgets the clubs can manage to keep the talents for longer and demand more money when they decide to sell. They can afford to keep the players, they don’t have to sell to keep profitable. Chelsea bought Oscar from Internacional for £25 million this summer, even though he only had one full season in Brazil under his belt. Wealthy Paris Saint-German paid even more for equally unproven Lucas Moura.
Although it may seem like it, money isn’t everything in Brazilian football. Olympique Lyon legend, Juninho Pernambucano, tranfered to one of his old Brazilian clubs, Vasco da Gama in 2011. There he plays for the minimum wage allowed, £165 a month. He shows true love for football, typical Brazilian some might say.
Sources: Goal.com, Guardian, FT.com, Josimar, thisismoney.co.uk