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Thiago Almada joins Brazilian side Botafogo for MLS-record fee

Thiago Almada’s time in MLS has come to an end.

Almada has been sold by Atlanta United to Brazilian Serie A side Botafogo, both clubs announced Saturday. The Five Stripes will reportedly receive a $21 million transfer fee for Almada, which could increase to $30 million with add-ons.

The 23-year-old joined the Five Stripes in February 2022 from Velez Sarsfield and proceeded to deliver an impressive two seasons in MLS.

“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 United vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra said.

Almada, an Argentina international, appeared in 77 regular season matches with the Five Stripes. He tallied 23 goals and 33 assists over that span, winning the MLS Newcomer of the Year Award in 2022 and MLS Young Player of the Year Award in 2023.

Almada is currently set to be part of Argentina’s men’s Olympic squad this summer.

“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.”

Atlanta United are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference and have now lost Almada and star striker Giorgos Giakomakis in recent weeks.


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