Atlanta's Thiago Almada completes MLS-record move to Botafogo

Thiago Almada has completed his MLS-record transfer from Atlanta United to Brazilian side Botafago.

The Athletic reported earlier this week that, Atlanta will receive $21million for Almada, with the deal potentially reaching up to $30m if conditions for additional payments are met. The 23-year-old has signed a contract until June 2029 with Botafogo.

Almada joined Atlanta from Velez Sarsfield in his native Argentina in 2022 for a reported fee of $16m. He won the MLS Newcomer of the Year award and also became the first player to win the World Cup as an active MLS player later that year.

“We spent more than a year recruiting Thiago to join Atlanta United and during that process we agreed that our club could provide a great platform to showcase his abilities and he would have the opportunity to continue his development until the time was right for him to move on to the next challenge,” Atlanta vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said.

“We’re proud of what Thiago was able to accomplish in a short period of time, which includes debuting for the Argentine National Team, winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup and winning a pair of individual MLS awards — Newcomer of the Year and Young Player of the Year.

“His success is something we’re all proud of and a ton of credit is owed to our scouting department, in addition to everyone who has worked with him at the club. Our team has been prepared for this move and we will look to immediately reinvest in the team during the upcoming summer transfer window.”

Almada leaves Atalanta having scored 24 goals in 81 games. The attacking midfielder was not selected in Lionel Scaloni’s squad for the ongoing Copa America in the United States but he has been named in Javier Mascherano’s team for the Paris Olympics later this summer.

Botafogo, meanwhile, is owned by Eagle Football Holdings, which also owns Ligue 1 club Lyon and has a stake in Premier League side Crystal Palace, as well as RWD Molenbeek of Belgium.

(Juan Carlos Hernandez/AFP via Getty Images)

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