Within the past years, soccer players all over the world have been making moves to China to play in the Chinese Super League, but the majority of these moves have been met with skepticism and dismay by soccer fans.
It seems as if all, or at least the majority, of these moves have been motivated by copious amounts of money.
The Chinese Super league is trying to make the league one that can compete with the five biggest European leagues: England’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1.
Although it looks like teams in China are buying their fame, spending outrageous amounts of money on players like Graziano Pellè, Carlos Tevez and many more.
For the past few years, players have been making big money moves to China, with the league trying to develop itself into a league that can contest with the big european leagues. But why is all of this happening?
China’s president Xi Jinping is attempting to turn China into a prestigious world football nation by heavily investing in Chinese soccer.
Not only is he accomplishing this by bringing some of the world’s best players into the league, but also investing heavily into the Chinese national soccer team and putting billions of dollars into grassroots soccer with the plan to create 50,000 specialty soccer schools in order to develop more homegrown players.
But there has been much controversy behind a lot of these transfers.
Soccer fans are often upset because these moves look as if the players are wasting their potential and are still in the prime of their career.
Players like Oscar, Jackson Martínez, Hulk and many others have moved to China for what seems like the amount of money they’ll make.
Oscar left Chelsea in January for Shanghai SIPG because he was receiving little playing time and is now making £400,000 a week.
Oscar is now making more money than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi respectively, and was for a small period of time the highest paid player in the world. That was until Carlos Tevez moved to Shanghai Shenhua for a staggering £615,000 a week.
Back in 2010, Tevez was quoted saying, “Football is only about money, and I don’t like it.
There are so many agents with really young footballers…It’s awful, as these young players are not interested in winning titles, they only want money.”
But seven years later, he is the highest paid player in the world. Even managers such as Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger have voiced their disapproval, saying this amount of money and spending has detrimental effects on leagues and football all around.
Personally, I hate to see players who still are in their prime move to China mainly for the money.
I can understand if players are nearing the end of their career and move to China to play, but it is sad to see players who still have plenty of good years ahead of them move to China and get payed more than they are valued.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how the Chinese Super League develops in the next few years.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted at Lstergiou@kscequinox.com