Enzo, Nunez and Benfica's 10 biggest sales of all time

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 20 Feb 2023 16:01 GMT
  • 6 min read
Enzo Fernandez, Benfica, 2022/23

Benfica have built a legacy as the most successful club in Portugal as well as a home for young talent to establish themselves in Europe.

Enzo Fernandez is the latest star to explode at Benfica before being sold for a massive fee abroad, following his €121 million move to Chelsea.

FootballTransfers takes a look at the 10 biggest sales Benfica have made.

10. Renato Sanches (€35m to Bayern Munich)

Could Renato Sanches replace Gini Wijnaldum at Liverpool?

Renato Sanches was one of the most sought-after teenagers in world football when he joined Bayern Munich in a deal that could have risen as high as €80m.

The midfielder had only played one season in Benfica's first team, scoring twice in 24 games, and was named the Young Player of the Tournament as Portugal won Euro 2016.

Sanches struggled during his time at Bayern, making 35 appearances in three years as well as spending a year on loan at Swansea before becoming Lille's most expensive signing in 2019 at €25m.

9. Victor Lindelof (€35m to Manchester United)

Victor Lindelof was one of the most highly-rated defenders in Europe during his time at Benfica, eventually leading to Manchester United paying €35m to sign him in 2017.

The Swede joined Benfica as an 18-year-old and initially played in the 'B' team before making before establishing himself in the senior setup in 2015.

After winning seven trophies during his time in Portugal, Lindelof moved to England where he has had a mixed spell with United.

8. Nelson Semedo (€35m to Barcelona)

Nelson Semedo initially joined Benfica's 'B' team as a 19-year-old in 2012 before breaking into the senior side at right-back in 2015.

After winning the league in both his years with the first team, Semedo was signed by Barcelona for €35m in 2017 and led the Spanish side to two La Liga titles in three years.

The Portguese defender went on to join Wolves for around €30m in 2020 and established himself as the first-choice right-back for both club and country.

7. Raul Jimenez (€38m to Wolves)

Raul Jimenez, Wolves, 2021-22

Mexican striker Raul Jimenez was reported to have become the most expensive player in Portuguese football after joining Benfica from Atletico Madrid in 2015.

The target man spent three years but failed to reach his potential, only scoring 18 goals in 80 games before joining Wolves on loan in 2018.

After a successful spell in which he scored 13 Premier League goals, the English side made the move permanent for €38m.

6. Axel Witsel (€40m to Zenit St Petersburg)

Axel Witsel had only been at Benfica for one year before Zenit St Petersburg activated his €40m release clause to bring him to Russia.

The Belgian international joined Benfica from Standard Liege for €10m in 2011 and he made 32 league appearances in his year at the club, scoring once.

Witsel spent five years at Zenit and had a spell in China before leaving Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2022, after four seasons with them.

5. Ederson (€40m to Manchester City)

Ederson, Man City

Manchester City signed Ederson from Benfica in 2017 for €40m, which made him the second-most expensive goalkeeper ever at the time.

The Brazilian had led Benfica to the league title in both his seasons at the club and was named Portugal's goalkeeper of the year during his first year.

He has since gone onto win four Premier League titles and three Golden Gloves at City and is regarded as one of the best ball-playing goalkeepers in the world.

4. Ruben Dias (€56m to Manchester City)

Ruben Dias

Ruben Dias established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe during his time at Benfica and he has only enhanced that reputation at Man City.

Dias was at the heart of Benfica's defence for three seasons, winning the league once, before he joined the English side in 2020 for €56m.

The Portuguese international was named City's player of the year in his first season and has led them to back-to-back Premier League titles during his time at the club.

3. Darwin Nunez (€100m to Liverpool)

Darwin Nunez, Benfica, 2021/22

Darwin Nunez's departure to Liverpool in the summer of 2022 represented the second biggest sale in Benfica's history.

The Uruguyan was prolific in the 2021-22 season, scoring 34 goals in 41 games - including twice in the Champions League quarter finals against Jurgen Klopp's side.

Nunez arrived from Almeria in 2020 as Benfica's record signing at €24m, although the 22-year-old failed to win the league during his two seasons in Portugal. He struggled in his early months at Liverpool.

2. Enzo Fernandez (€121m to Chelsea)

Benfica continued their incredible business in the 2022-23 season by following up the sale of Nunez to Liverpool by selling Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea.

The Portuguese club only signed Enzo six months earlier from River Plate for €18m, so this represented an incredible profit.

Enzo impressed during his six months at Benfica and also shone at the World Cup as Argentina took the trophy. But €121m for the central midfielder represented brilliant business again by Benfica. It somehow isn't the biggest fee they'd earned for a player either.

1. Joao Felix (€126m to Atletico Madrid)

Joao Felix, Atletico Madrid, Primera Division

The sale of Joao Felix to Atletico Madrid in 2019 was not only the biggest fee ever received by Benfica but also the fourth highest sum ever paid for a player by any club.

The Portuguese wonderkid had only played one season for Benfica's first team - scoring 15 times in 26 games - before Atletico agreed a deal of €126m to bring him to Spain, the second-highest fee ever for a teenager (behind Kylian Mbappe.)

While Felix has yet to truly live up to the expectations of his astronomical price tag, the 22-year-old won La Liga in his second season with Atletico. He moved to Chelsea on loan in January 2023.