We had two crazy transfer-windows in July and January.
I bought Felix Mambimbi from Tottenham directly at the end of the season. I didn't plan to make any other transfers in that window except taking in Lo Celso on loan and Melo for free. But then Leon Bailey showed interest in joining Porto and together with the board we went on to buy him. The owner took all the responsibility for that transfer.
After selling Eder Militao to Barcelona I needed a right back to replace him and I found Dodo from Shakhtar for less than 20M and he had a great season. He was much better than I expected.
I then found Luka Modric on a free transfer and he joined the team but as a playing manager and he decided to stop with playing in November 2021. Before the season was over I managed to sell Hernani, Galeno and Sergio Oliveira for great prices considering that they didn't play at all the previous season. I got similar bids for Brahimi and Marega but I thought that they were worth a bit more than that.
We got some money from those three transfers and I tried to bring in Upamecano from Leipzig in August but we didn't have enough money for that. Instead we got him in January.
In the last week of January we got some bids for Danilo Pereira and I was sure that he would leave so I decided to take in Dani Ceballos as a replacement for him and he can play both CM and CAM. Danilo left for AC Milan and we sold him for a good fee considering he is 32 years old.
We smashed the transfer record for both buying and selling players.
We also played in the Portuguese Supercup at the beginning of the season. We had to face Benfica and despite being better and having the lead two times the game went to penalties were we lost.
We got off to a good start in the league and were unbeaten for the first 8 games. Meanwhile, Benfica had lost some points and we were on 7+ before having to face them. In general we had a good season where we didn't drop too many points but we faced a Benfica who got knocked out early in Europe and could put all their focus on the league. After losing two games early in the season they went on a 24 games unbeaten run and we couldn't keep up with them. Pedro scored 24 goals in the league and won the golden boot. Raphinha had 11 assists, Bailey 9 and Jorge 8.
TAÇA DE PORTUGAL
We had a terrible run in the cup that we won last year. We struggled away to Maritimo and lost the game on penalties which didn't make the board happy.
TAÇA DA LIGA
We had a better run in the league cup than in the other. After a perfect group stage with three wins and only one goal conceded we had to face Moreirense in the semifinal. The final stage of the tournament where played at Da Luz and in the other semifinal Madeira faced Benfica. We went through to the final without any problems and when we saw Benfica getting knocked out we slowly started to celebrate.
In the final Nacional de Madeira looked very weak and we won the league cup for the second time since I came to Porto.
What a season for us!
We got a tough group as we were drawn against Bayern München, AC Milan and Spartak Moskva. But after beating Bayern already in the first round things looked good for us. We went through the group stage unbeaten but didn't manage to get the first place as we didn't win a single game away from home.
Maybe the luck was on our side because Milan, who came first, were drawn against Liverpool who had won the previous two competitions. We got drawn against Olympique Lyon who until then had had a perfect season with 21 wins and only 1 draw in the French league.
However, we were optimistic and we totally outplayed them in Dragao. With four goals to zero we knew that we couldn't lose the tie and there were no drama in the away game.
In the quarterfinals we got drawn against Manchester City who gave us a big lesson last season. This time the first game was played in England and it was a crazy one. We got and early lead but they turned the game around and when the result was 3-2 to them we got a penalty that Raphinha unfortunately missed. He managed to score one more time anyway but Manchester City scored two late goals to take a two goal lead back to Portugal. At Dragao we got off to a great start and we were up 2-0 after just 22 minutes which was the result we needed to go through. Lewandowski got one back but Pedro completed his hattrick in the second half and sent us through to the semifinal for the second time in three years.
The teams in the semifinals were Liverpool, Arsenal and Paris SG. We got drawn against the French champions who we had faced two times earlier in the knockout phase of the Champions League.
The first game was played in Portugal and their team was very tired which lead to us dominating the game and creating chance after chance. We didn't manage to score and instead they took the lead in the first half on a counter attack through Neymar. We had to at least draw the game at home to give ourselves a fair chance in the return leg. In the second half we finally got the goals coming Pedro scored on a penalty and Lo Celso scored a crazy freekick from 30 meters against the club he were on loan from.
In the return leg PSG came out hot and score two early goals which put us in a very though situation. We managed to get one goal back through Palacios and the aggregate score were 3-3. In the 70th minute Pedro managed to put the ball into the net and the French champions needed two goals to get through but they only scored one and we went through on away goals again.
The final was played on the Ernst-Happel Stadion in Vienna, the city and stadium were Porto lifted its first European Cup trophy back in 1987. We now had to face Liverpool who had won the previous two Champions League trophies.
We shocked the Reds by going out offensively from the start and that resulted in Bailey giving us the lead early on. An extremely important goal for us. The first half ended 1-0 to us and I knew the importance of not conceding immediately after the whistle goes for the second half. Despite trying to tell the boys to stay focused and playing a bit more defensively, Wijnaldum dribbled past our defence to score 1-1 less that 120 seconds into the second half.
Both teams created chances after that even though Liverpool were the better team. We managed to get the game to extra time and there were two tired teams on the pitch. In the 106th minute we got a freekick that we put into the box and Liverpool totally unnecessarily took Bailey down. After some consultation with the VAR-room we were given a penalty in the 107th minute.
I gave the chance to our homegrown striker born in 2002, Fabio Silva, to step up and take the penalty. He was nervous but did score the iconic penalty that resulted in Porto being crowned European Champions for the third time in its history. An unbelievable achievement for us and I'm very happy that Fabio Silva got to score the winning penalty.
TROPHIES WON (2018-2022)
I now got to add two more titles to the collection including the biggest of them all!
Thank your for the previous comments and the understanding for my decision. I hope you will enjoy the story in this format as well.