Sao Paulo: Brazil is famous for the huge number of footballers it has produced, but either the well has dried up or European clubs no longer see value there as the total of Brazilians leaving for Europe fell this transfer window, Fifa officials and Brazilian statisticians said.
Only 178 players went from Brazil to Uefa clubs before the transfer window shut, fewer than in any year since Fifa began recording transfer data in 2011.
The majority went for free or on loan and clubs shelled out just $68 million for the remaining 30, barely one-third of last year’s outlay, according to figures provided by Fifa’s Transfer Matching System, the body that has been recording transfer data since 2010.
There was no big-name chase, as in recent years. The biggest transfer this year was the reported 10 million euros Olympique Marseille paid for Botafogo’s 19-year-old centre back Doria.
“This is the worst market in the last 30 years for Brazilian clubs,” sports statistician and newspaper columnist Paulo Vinicius Coelho wrote in Sunday’s Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
Experts have posited several reasons for the lack of interest. With Brazilian football at an ebb there are fewer talented players around.
Unrest in the Caucuses has also blocked a previously well-worn path for young Brazilians looking to get their first move to the Old World.
Some 5,526 Brazilians were traded internationally between January 2011 and the start of this transfer window, according to the Transfer Matching System.
That is more than twice the next most-traded nationality, Argentines.