Atlanta United Completes Transfer of Thiago Almada to Brazil’s Botafogo

Thiago Almada is heading to Brazil.

Atlanta United has completed its transfer of the 23-year-old Argentine professional footballer to Brazilian top-flight side Botafogo for a Major League Soccer-record fee, the club announced on Saturday.

Thiago AlmadaWhile the club confirmed the fee is a record, it didn’t attach a monetary figure. The Athletic reported Atlanta United stands to receive $21 million with up to $30m possible if conditions are met.

The 5-foot-7 midfielder/winger is expected to be on the move from Brazil over the winter. Botafogo is part of Eagle Football Holdings, which also operates Lyon of France’s Ligue 1 and Crystal Palace of England’s Premier League. It’s anticipated he will join Lyon in January.

Almada was transferred to Atlanta in February 2022 for a reported $16m by Velez Sarsfield of Argentina’s Primera Division. He went on to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina and will play for his nation in the 2024 Paris Games beginning later this month.

“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’s vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said in a news release.

Almada appeared in 77 regular-season matches (72 starts) with Atlanta United, recording 23 goals and 33 assists. He was honored as MLS Newcomer of the Year in 2022 and MLS Young Player the following 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,” Bocanegra said. “Our team has been prepared for this move and we will look to immediately reinvest in the team during the upcoming summer transfer window.”