Recent performances from the likes of Jackson Martínez and James Rodríguez have served to highlight FC Porto's successful South American recruitment drive.
Vítor Pereira's club have an absolutely extraordinary transfer policy in South America, giving them a significant advantage over other teams. On top of that they also manage to take the best players from smaller Portuguese clubs.
Considering the benefits these South American and local policies afford the club, Porto wield a similar power in Portugal to that which Bayern Munich have in Germany.
Of course, Benfica and Sporting are also able to draw on similar resources, but Porto should be singled out for praise because, over the last 15 years, it is the Oporto club which has been able to deliver most consistently. Their policy is both intelligent and visionary.
When looking to unearth new players, clubs tend to be drawn towards Brazil and its huge pool of talent, but Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay have also produced many players for European teams. Colombians Martínez and Rodríguez are two shining examples.
The problem was that for a long time these countries failed at a basic level with young players and settled for a 'wild' brand of football.
Today though, there are academies developing all over the world, as the hunt for the 'footballer of tomorrow' reaches far and wide, allowing Porto to reap rewards for their extensive scouting and to remain competitive at the highest level.