Brazil centre-back Dede secured his future in Brazilian football on Wednesday, with the announcement that the man known as "O Mito" (The Myth) would be joining Belo Horizonte side Cruzeiro.
The Mineiro side were triumphant, declaring "The Myth is ours" across the homepage of their official website. For the ambitious Brasileirao contenders, Dede's capture represents a major coup ahead of the 2013 league season.
But, for Dede, what does the deal mean? After all, this is a player linked with the bright lights of European football in recent weeks, with the likes of Chelsea among those most heavily linked. (Express)
Those plans, then, are on hold for the time being, as Dede assumes his role as the star man in Cruzeiro's pursuit of a Copa Libertadores place in 2014. For everyone concerned, including the player, it might not be as bad a career move as many in Europe would think.
At 24, it would normally have been the ideal time for the player to make a switch across the Atlantic, that much is true. However, Brazilian football is currently entering a far from normal period in its development.
The 2014 World Cup, which the country will host, is now having a major bearing on the decisions of those who are in line to appear at the event—Dede included.
At present, his participation next summer is far from secure. He is currently the fourth choice centre-back in Luiz Felipe Scolari's recent Brazil squads and, thus, is the most insecure of Brazil's defensive options.
In an ideal world, then, he would have remained at Vasco until after that tournament. The risks of adapting to playing football in a foreign country—at a side where competition would surely be intense—make maintaining the status quo Dede's safest option.
Vasco, though, are in a dire mess financially and, despite desperately attempting to retain their captain for as long as possible, have finally been forced to concede defeat and take the money on offer.
Cruzeiro, with their offer of €5 million on the table, were the first side to offer substantial money up front, and that money will now travel to the pockets of Vasco's various creditors, with former star Romario near the front of an alarmingly lengthy queue.
In that sense, the deal is a win-win scenario for all sides. Cruzeiro obtain a wonderful defender at a low price, Vasco obtain a cash injection that should secure their immediate future, and Dede can continue to push his case ahead of Brazil 2014 in relative comfort, with a side aiming to win titles in the coming year.
However, there is another winner in all this—investment company DIS. Dede's ownership is not a simple setup, with Cruzeiro simply purchasing much of the 45% of the player's economic rights owned by Vasco. The overall value of the player in this transaction, then, is closer to €11 million.
DIS will retain their own 45 percent stake in the player, as will separate financiers Agility with their remaining 10 percent stake. DIS, though, who own rights to several famous Brazilian talents, will join Cruzeiro paying some of €5 million fee and, in turn, increasing their ownership of the player.
Thus, the club save some money and obtain a standout defender, while DIS increase their ownership of one of their most valuable assets. With the English FA forbidding third-party involvement in player ownership, this move represents their last chance to maximise their profit.
Assuming Dede's value does not drop below its current €11 million level, DIS stand to make a further profit on their increased investment. Given the figures that have previously been quoted for Dede, that should be a mere formality.
Cruzeiro, then, will not expect to retain Dede for long—most probably until after the 2014 World Cup. However, they and their new business partners could both make a tidy profit in 12 months time, while the club will also benefit from the player's talents for that period.
With Dede himself looking to remain in familiar environs and push his claims for a place at the World Cup, it is somewhat of a marriage of convenience. His time in Europe, potentially in the the Premier League, will still inevitably come.
For now, though, he will seek to guide his new side to long-awaited success and could well begin with the state championship title in the weeks to come. Should he do so, then a place at the 2014 World Cup and subsequent move to a European giant surely await.
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