The Chinese Super League along with the Qatar Premier League has been the go-to place for twilight footballers looking for their final pay day. However, over the years the amount of Renminbi being offered has lured big-name footballers still in their prime to join the league.
Let’s look at five of the biggest transfers to the Chinese Super League:
Oscar stunned everyone when he joined Shanghai SIPG at only twenty-five years old. The two time Premier League winner moved from Chelsea in a four-year deal worth £20.8 million.
Oscar seems to have settled into life in China, performing on the pitch with the highest assist stats in the league for the past two seasons. He has also warmed to life off the pitch, recently stating that if FIFA changed the naturalisation laws in international football he would consider playing for China.
Since the Hulking Brazilian forward made his big money move to China, he has made more headlines off the pitch. In perhaps the most bizarre story of last year, it was announced that Hulk had left his wife… for her niece.
Private life aside, Hulk has registered a decent 69 goals in 126 goals for Shanghai SIPG since he moved there from Zenit St Petersburg in 2016.
During the summer online sportsbooks offered odds for a move to clubs in England, Spain, Italy and Turkey.
The thirty two-year-old Brazilian midfielder moved from Barcelona where he made 43 appearances in the 2017-2018 season to Guangzhou Evergrande. Initially it was a loan deal but after 13 goals in 19 appearances the Chinese team signed him on a permanent contract.
The now 33-year-old moved to Jiangsu Suning in 2016 after three seasons at Chelsea where he made 160 appearances. The Brazilian enjoyed mixed success over three seasons in the Chinese Super League where he made 49 appearances but was left out of the team for the last year of his contract.
He has now moved to Brazilian club Palmeiras.
Everyone agrees that Tevez’s move to Shanghai Shenhua was an unmitigated disaster. At 31 years-old the Argentine moved to China in 2016 from Boca Juniors. The coach described him as ‘overweight’ during his stint at the club. The striker only mustered 4 goals in 16 appearances before his contract was terminated and he returned to Boca Juniors. Tevez later described his time at Shanghai Shenhua as a ‘holiday’.
The Argentinian seemed to be at the top of his career when he moved from PSG to Hebei China Fortune in 2016. The deal earned him a tidy £10 million a year. In his early thirties at the time he proved a useful signing for the Chinese team scoring 35 goals in 74 appearances. He announced his retirement in 2019.
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