For many years, the English Premier League has been labelled as the best league in the world for its competitiveness and ability to attract the best players. Now it seems a new league has started to take over the footballing world in the form of the Chinese Super League.
I remember the days when Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea in 2003 and started splashing out the cash, then it went on to be PSG dominating football with their big money signings and then onto Manchester City in 2016. The Premier League was bringing in all the big money players but now it seems they could all be tempted in a move to China instead.
As a boy growing up, I used to go to the local park for a kick around imagining I was a Premier League player playing against some of the best players in the world. In fact that was almost every boy’s dream. It was never about earning a six-figure salary, it was all about playing alongside the best names in football. But now it seems that money has taken over football to a degree that it doesn’t matter what team you play for, what country you play in or how well your team is doing as long as you are earning that nice six-figure salary to pay for your fancy house or flash sports car.
The latest player to go is Chelsea’s Oscar who has been recently bought for Shanghai SIPG for 60m and will earn a whopping £400,000 a week. He will follow in the footsteps of his former playing partner Ramires who transferred to China earlier this year. Chelsea Boss, Antonio Conte and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger have recently said in press conferences that they fear for the Premier League as there could well be a mass exodus of Premier League talent to Chinese clubs.
Hulk is another notable name that now plays his football in China and earns £340,000-a-week. Ditto other recent imports Alex Teixeira, Martinez, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Ramires, Papiss Cisse, Gervinho, Asamoah Gyan, Pelle and Demba Ba, who are all earning fortunes. The current highest paid players in the world are obviously the two best players, Messi and Ronaldo, but by the way things are going, it could well change with the money been invested into Chinese football.
It’s obvious that money has a major impact on these footballers but in terms of football, there is no Champions League football available for those who have moved to the Far East and it’s rarely televised.
However, the big question that remains is how long will it take until the likes of Ronaldo, Messi, Ibrahimovic, Bale etc all move to the Far East? There is no doubt we have all enjoyed the whole ‘Messi vs Ronaldo’ saga with Barcelona vs Real Madrid being a massive fixture in the football season, but by the way things are shaping up, they could all end up playing in the Chinese Super League within the next few years.