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Football Markets in Portugal and Brazil – How Do They Compare?

FOOTBALL MARKETS IN PORTUGAL AND BRAZIL – HOW DO THEY COMPARE?The countries of Portugal and Brazil have long been linked by language and culture. They also have a common love of football which is the most popular sport in both countries.

In fact, Portugal is the most common destination for professional footballers from Brazil who make the decision to play elsewhere. You only need to look at the line-ups of current Portuguese clubs to see a host of Brazilian stars such as Everton at Benfica and Pepe and Evanilson at FC Porto.

So, Portugal and Brazil have a lot in common but how does the football market compare in these countries? We are going to take a look at this question in relation to three aspects: revenue, football betting, and fanbase.

Revenue from football in both countries

The revenue from football in Portugal rose to around €792 million ($846 million) during the 2020-2021 season. The rise was 11% on the previous season. This was despite the effect of the global pandemic. During the same period, football contributed approximately €550 million to Portuguese GDP.

In Brazil, the top 20 clubs generated revenue of more than five billion Brazilian reals in 2020 ($980 million). This was a decline of 20% from the previous season. Around half of this revenue is thought to have been generated by sponsorship. The link between football revenue and the country’s GDP is not as strong as it is in Portugal and there are no accurate figures as to how much the revenue contributed to the economy of the country.

Football gambling markets in Portugal and Brazil

As is the case in many football-loving countries globally, there is a healthy football gambling market in both Portugal and Brazil. However, these markets are at different stages of development.

In Portugal, online gambling is in a state of significant growth. In 2019, players gambled a total of €345.6 million ($369.1 million) on sports. Football gambling contributed around 86.7% of these bets, by far the major contribution.

Football betting has also become big news in Brazil as you can see from this Brazilian gambling guide that covers the legal aspect of this industry well on that page. Sports betting overall is a fast-growing market, with legalisation only having happened in 2018.

Gambling activity has taken off so much that many operators view Brazil as having amongst the highest profitability potential in the world. The government in Brazil is currently in the process of drafting rules for the growing industry. It will be interesting to compare the two markets again in a couple of years to see what effect this has.

Football fanbases in Portugal and Brazil

Football is by far the most popular sport in Portugal and Brazil in terms of playing and spectating.

The three top clubs in Portugal, Porto, Sporting and Benfica have a huge fanbase. Porto alone has a following of 8.2 million across its social media channels. These three top teams have a combined capacity of 164,770 for their home games in Portuguese Liga.

In Brazil, according to recent research, 46% of people regard themselves as football fans with only around 20% saying they had no interest in the sport.

Across Portugal and Brazil, it’s clear that the football markets are healthy. Given the ongoing popularity of football, it seems as though more growth is likely, especially in the buoyant betting markets.


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