Taking a closer look at the successful partnership between Real Madrid and FC Porto

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Pepe (right) celebrate winning the Champions League (Photo by Andrew Matthews - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas and Pepe (right) celebrate winning the Champions League (Photo by Andrew Matthews - EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images) /

Presidents Florentino Perez and Pinto da Costa have formed a professional relationship that has benefitted both Real Madrid and FC Porto. Since 2007, Los Blancos have bought and sold players with the Portuguese side and vice versa. Today, we take a closer look at the close connection the two clubs have.

12 years in the football world is a really, really long time. Especially when you consider how volatile this business can be if things aren’t going right.

But, these two great club leaders have held their positions and continued to improve and grow their respective brands while also maintaining a professional relationship in the transfer market.

The connection began nearly 12 years ago when Real Madrid signed the now famous center back, Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, better known as Pepe, for nearly €30 million. Pepe quickly became a Real Madrid legend and a fan favorite thanks to his fiery personality and passion for the game.

The defender spent a decade in Spain winning a couple of La Liga titles and a few Champions Leagues as well. Realizing that he had struck gold by signing Pepe, Perez dipped back into the Portuguese market and found defensive midfielder Casemiro.

The Brazilian was signed in 2015 for just €7.5 million. Casemiro originally moved to Madrid on a loan deal, but after just a season, the deal was made permanent. Real Madrid loaned Casemiro back to Porto for the 2014/2015 season where he played 28 games before becoming the regular starter in Spain.

That same summer Casemiro was signed on a full-transfer, Perez again looked to Porto for some Brazilian magic. This time, he splashed €31.5 million for fullback Danilo who moved to Spain in the summer of 2015.

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This, sadly, was the only deal – so far – between the two parties that didn’t work out. Danilo spent just two seasons with Real Madrid before being sold to Manchester City in the summer of 2017.

While signing both Casemiro and Danilo in 2015, Los Blancos were selling players to the Portuguese club as well. Legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas joined Porto in 2015 after spending his entire career with Real.

Casillas signed a two-year deal with a third-year option and he is still with the Porto nearly four years later. In fact, he just signed another contract extension that will keep him playing until he is 40 years old which is when he says he will retire.

Iker has now made 149 appearances with Porto and will easily clear 200 or maybe 250 by the time he hangs up the cleats.

After playing just half a season in Turkey with Beşiktaş, Pepe joined his former teammates Casillas in Porto on a two and a half year deal. After playing for FC Porto from 2004-2007, it’s fitting to see Pepe return to his old club and join his former Madrid teammate.

The most recent transaction between Porto and Real Madrid came just a couple of weeks ago when center back Eder Militao put pen to paper on a six-year contract with Los Blancos.

Next. Proceed with caution Madridistas. dark

It’s clear from my point of view that Real Madrid and FC Porto have figured out an arrangement where both teams get the players and compensation that is fair and just. While it is less likely to see young Real Madrid players being sold to Portugal, it is a viable option moving forward.

Thanks to Florentino and Pinto, both clubs can say that they are better because of this relationship. Let’s hope it continues to be a fruitful union.

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