Since its founding in 1992, the Premier League has been regarded as the best league in the world. For the majority of the game’s hottest talent, it’s the place to be. It’s undoubtedly the most competitive league in world football and is home to some of the best teams, players and managers in the world.
The Premier League’s main two competitors are arguably La Liga and the Bundesliga. La Liga is another hit destination for the world’s best stars and is home to the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Neymar and Antoine Griezmann.
Meanwhile, the Bundesliga possesses the great Bayern Munich and players such as Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Arjen Robben. Of course, you can’t forget Ligue One and Serie A, the French and Italian top tiers also boast some of Europe’s most elite teams including PSG, Monaco, Inter, Milan and Juventus.
A short while ago, the opportunity to play in those teams, playing alongside the players mentioned would be turned down by few. But now, many stars are turning their nose up at the best leagues in Europe.
Some five years ago, it became noticed that players were heading to unlikely destinations such as Russia and the UAE. One minute, Asamoah Gyan was being nominated for the Ballon d’Or for an outstanding World Cup performance and the next he was leaving Premier League outfit Sunderland for UAE side Al-Ain.
A club with an average attendance of just over 4,000 seemed more attractive to Gyan than playing in front of 40,000 in the supposed best league in the world. It was alleged that the Ghanaian star would pretty much quadruple his wages at Al-Ain so money clearly talks.
Not long after Gyan’s move, players started heading to Russia. The likes of Yann M’Vila, Samuel Eto’o, Domenico Criscito, Kim Kallstrom, Axel Witsel and Hulk all chose to move despite having offers from the Premier League and from Europe’s other top leagues.
And now, it’s China that seem to be causing headaches for Europe’s elite leagues. The Chinese Super League are throwing huge sums around and a host of players have already made the move East.
As covered by leading freebetting site Bethut, the (now former) Chelsea playmaker Oscar recently made the move the China, tempted by a staggering £400,000 a week. Leaving behind the opportunity to win yet another Premier League medal.
Fellow Chelsea team mate Ramires signed for Jiangsu Suning for a fee of £25million, a price which not even billionaire Roman Abromovich could turn down. Jackson Martinez also chose to play in the Chinese Super League despite strong interest from several English clubs.
Perhaps the most notable move to China was that of Carlos Tevez, admittedly, the Argentine is past prime at the age of 33 but he’s more than capable of doing a job in Europe, Though it wasn’t that which caught the eye of many but the fact that the striker is said to be raking in a staggering £615,000 a week.
No club in Europe can compete with such wages and Europe’s elite have reason to be worried as China are showing no signs of slowing down when it comes to splashing the cash. How long is it before young prospects throw away the chance to win Europe’s top medals in favour of a bumper payday?
Such decisions would be a sad day for football, with many top clubs now having to resort to offering ludicrous sums of money to keep even mediocre players on board.
Of course, there are positive signs that game legends Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo ruled out moves in pursuit of more European Glory and in form striker Diego Costa was said to turn down a big money move to China.
The hope is the Chinese experiment fails before the best players turn into pure money men.
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