In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a new league in town that’s spending big and raising the temperature on the pitch to febrile levels by sweeping up some of the world’s best players. Yep, you’ve guessed it: the Chinese Super League.
The league has just seen it’s transfer record shattered with spending reaching a stonking £200 million pounds – that’s more than the £175 million forked out by Premier League teams.
You’re allowed five foreign players per team, so here’s our rundown of the top five names in world football that are dancing their way through the economic powerhouse on the pitch, and it has a South American ring to it.
Ramires Santos (Jiangsu Suning)
Ramires Santos, simply known to us as Ramires, the midfielder departed Chelsea in January for Jiangsu Suning in a whopping £25 million move. Incidentally, he’s managed by ex-Chelsea and Romania legend Dan Petrescu.
Gervinho (Hebei China Fortune)
Ivory Coast international Gervinho is well remembered for his services at Arsenal, followed by highly successful season at Roma – now he’s gracing the field at Hebei China Fortune FC, no doubt being paid an absolute fortune.
Fredy Guarín (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua)
The versatile midfielder made 108 appearances for Inter Milan and has now penned a four-year contract with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
Alex Teixeira (Jiangsu Suning)
The league’s most expensive player, the Brazilian joined Jiangsu Suning from Shakhatar Donetsk in a €50 million move. So far his career in China has failed to ignite.
Jackson Martinez (Guangzhou Evergrande)
Nicknamed “Cha Cha Cha” for his dance moves on the pitch, he’s an out-and-out goal-scorer and was the top scorer for FC Porto in all of his three seasons there. He’s also found the net on a regular basis for Atletico Madrid last season and is now with the league’s top side Guangzhou Evergrande.
Whether or not China can transform it’s love of football into a credible world class league remains to be seen. But with this kind of investment flowing and no end in sight, money talks and bulls**t walks.