After finishing second to Sporting Lisbon in the Primeira Liga last season, Porto have reportedly employed a witch doctor to aid their quest to land a 30th domestic title in their history.
Of the belief that fierce rivals Benfica used witchcraft to claim a league and cup double in 2016/17, Porto seemingly decided to recruit the services of their alternative practitioner at the start of the season.
Sergio Conceicao’s side are currently top of the Primeira Liga on goal difference – and have yet to taste defeat this term. There is, however, no way of proving if this success is in any way linked to the presence of witch doctor Madalena Aroso at the club.
Officially on Porto’s books as a ‘doctor’, Aroso touts himself as a clairvoyant who can predict the future – including match results.
There might be little harm in this admittedly unorthodox tactic if it were not for Aroso’s astronomical reported salary.
Via the Daily Mail, an article from Portuguese outlet Abola claims that Aroso negotiated pay equivalent to £150,000-per year after being recruited by Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa in the summer.
At a club which has had to slash its budget in recent years in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations, that six-figure annual sum is said to make Aroso the highest-paid ‘non-football’ member of staff.
Portuguese football has long had links with witchcraft and the occult, with Porto’s 1987 European Cup success being credited to the release of two frogs in the stadium prior to kick-off.
Benfica fans are estimated to have paid one practitioner a total of £170,000 during the season where they claimed their aforementioned double – money they would almost certainly say was well-spent.
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With that said, should Porto’s playing and coaching staff manage to turn back the challenges of Sporting Lisbon and Benfica to lift the Primeira League title this season, they probably won’t be overly impressed about having to share the credit with the club witch doctor!
Tradition and superstition clearly have their place in football, but paying out £150,000 in the hope that it can help attract success doesn’t appear to be the wisest investment.
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