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Top five most expensive sales in Santos' history

Published at :August 25, 2023 at 11:52 PM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 6:23 PM
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Rajat Chhajta


With Chelsea acquiring Angelo, he becomes the fifth most expensive player sold by Santos

Santos Futebol Clube is one of the most renowned and successful football clubs in Brazil. Founded in 1912, Santos FC have won numerous championships and accolades, including eight Campeonato Paulista titles, six Copa Libertadores titles, and one Intercontinental Cup.

Nicknamed the “Peixe”, meaning “fish” in Portuguese, the team is based in the city of Santos, São Paulo state, and plays their home games at the Vila Belmiro Stadium. With a long and decorated history, Santos FC has produced many legendary players, including Pele, Neymar, Zito, Coutinho, and many more. They have also been involved in some of the huge sales made to European clubs with their homegrown talents. Here is the list of their top-five players sold:

5. Ângelo to Chelsea for €15M

Chelsea have completed the signing of promising young Ângelo Gabriel, a few weeks after reportedly agreeing to a €15 million deal for his transfer with Santos. The 18-year-old has signed a “long-term contract” with Chelsea, though the exact length has not been confirmed by the club. Previous reports indicated a six-year deal. He’s the second highly-rated teenage forward to arrive at the club in the space of a week, after Diego Moreira from Benfica.

Ângelo is expected to join up with the team for the preseason USA Tour, which starts on Monday but is likely to head out on loan afterwards, perhaps to RC Strasbourg or perhaps somewhere else. He’s unlikely to qualify for a UK work permit (or permit exception) at this point. Despite his young age (he won’t turn 19 until late December), Ângelo has a wealth of senior football experience already, with over 100 games under his belt.

He’s the youngest player in Brazilian Série A history and is also the youngest goal scorer in Copa Libertadores history. It will be interesting to see if Chelsea will have him in their plans this season or if he will be loaned out to get him more game time.

4. Robinho to Real Madrid for €24M

Robinho is now a retired Brazilian international forward who has played for Santos, Real Madrid, and Manchester City, and he has also represented Brazil at the senior level. Robinho was born in 1983 and started his playing career with the local side Basquete Brasil before joining Santos in 2001. He helped the club win two championships and two Copa Libertadores.

After three years at Madrid, he joined Manchester City, where he spent five seasons before joining AC Milan on loan in 2014. In 2015, Robinho rejoined Santos on a permanent basis after spending the previous season with Guangzhou Evergrande on a loan deal.

The 38-year-old striker has made over 100 appearances for Brazil, scoring 25 goals along the way, including two during the 2014 World Cup, which saw his country reach the semi-finals as well as winning their fourth Copa America title. At Santos, he helped them win four consecutive league titles from 2012–2015 before signing for current club Atlético Mineiro ahead of the 2016–2017 season, where he quickly became an integral part of their attack, before finally moving to Santos and hanging his boots in October 2020.

3. Gabigol to Inter Milan for €29.5M

Gabigol joined from Santos after winning a gold medal with Brazil at the Olympic Games in the summer. By 2016, Barbosa was attracting the biggest names in world football after taking Brazil’s Serie A by storm, and he would soon swap it for Italy’s Serie A at Inter as a 19-year-old.

Once again, expectations were high, especially given Inter’s history of taking on Brazilian superstars like Ronaldo, Adriano, Maicon, and Julio Cesar. He was given a hero’s welcome, similar to that of his idol Ronaldo when he moved to Milan in 1997 but left two years later under a cloud of disappointment, underachievement, and a ‘bad boy’ tag that would be tough to shake off. He made just nine appearances, scoring once, and ended up being shifted out to Benfica on loan the season after, where he made just one league appearance.

Gabigol joined Inter in the summer of 2016 from Santos in a reported €29.5 million transfer. After scoring just one goal in nine appearances for Inter, he was loaned to Benfica for the 2017-18 campaign but played only 165 minutes for the Portuguese outfit before seeing his loan deal come to an early end. His loan spell at former club Santos in 2018 proved more successful, with the forward scoring 18 goals in 35 appearances.

Barbosa spent last season on loan at Flamengo from Inter and was a big hit. He finished as the top scorer in the Brazilian and Copa Libertadores competitions with 43 goals in 58 appearances. He scored two goals in three minutes to help Flamengo win the Libertadores Cup. After his loan deal expired in December, Gabigol was reported as a target for West Ham as well as other European clubs. However, his priority was to remain at Flamengo.

2. Rodrygo to Real Madrid for €45M

Rodrygo LaLiga Santos most expensive sales
Rodrygo is leading the line for Real Madrid in 2023-24

The Brazilian forward is one of the brightest names in Europe and currently plays for Real Madrid. He was born on January 9, 2001, in Osasco, Brazil, and has since represented his country at the youth level. Rodrygo joined Santos in 2017 and, after two years with their youth academy, moved to Madrid in 2019 amid the reformation in the attack when Ronaldo and Bale were on the move.

He made his debut for Real Madrid in 2018. He quickly endeared himself to the club’s fanbase with his dynamic playing style. With an impressive young career under his belt, Rodrygo looks set to become one of Latin America’s most successful footballers in the years to come. Rodrygo is an exciting young talent who has been impressing for Santos in Brazil’s top division.

Rodrygo has already made a name for himself with his performances at the club level, and he hopes to take that form into international play to win trophies. He is known for his pace, dribbling ability, and passing range, all of which make him very difficult to defend against. He already has the Champions League, La Liga, and Copa Del Rey at such a young age. It will be interesting to see how Rodrygo develops under the guidance of Ancelloti, playing against some of Europe’s leading clubs over the next few years.

1. Neymar to Barcelona for €88M

Neymar was probably one of the most famous young talents when he joined Barcelona in a big-money move. He proved his value within the first season in Catalonia and was part of the formidable MSN attack at Barcelona. He has scored over 300 goals in his career and was named the world’s best player by FIFA in 2018. Neymar started his career at Santos before moving to Barcelona, where he won two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, and the Champions League.

In 2017, he joined PSG, becoming the most expensive player ever when PSG paid his release clause of €222 million. He has since helped them win three Ligue 1 titles but has failed to make waves in Europe. Neymar is renowned for his dribbling skills and acceleration, as well as his passing ability. Neymar is one of the most talented footballers in the world and has won numerous awards, including three FIFA Confederations Cup titles.

In 2016, Neymar was named a member of Brazil’s Olympic team for the games in Rio de Janeiro. Neymar began his career with Brazilian side Santos before moving to Europe to join Barcelona in 2013 and PSG two years later. Neymar has played for Brazil at various youth levels and made his senior international debut in 2009. He represented them at the 2014 World Cup and Copa América tournaments.

Neymar is known for his speed on the pitch, strong shooting ability, and dribbling skills; he is considered a complete player who can score goals both from close-range and long-range shots. Neymar will be looking to add more honours to his impressive CV when he lines up for Brazil.

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