There have been a number of professional football players who have moved to play in #China recently. Whilst obviously it is up to the player themselves where they wish to play, I do question it slightly. Why? Let's find out.

Background information

The Chinese Super League is the highest tier of professional football in China. The league was created in 2004 and has sixteen teams in it. But what is most striking about the league itself is the financial might that they possess. Professional footballers in China receive much higher wages when compared, not only to other Chinese sports but crucially to other football leagues around the world.

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Why is this the case you may ask? Well as reported on the Daily Mail website, the huge offers are possible because Chinese Super League teams are bankrolled by "massive" corporate investment. In addition to this is that the Chinese President, Xi Jinping has a "golden vision" for football in China. He has set out a 10-year plan to double the size of the Chinese sports economy to more than 600 billion pounds sterling. It is as a result of this that players are being lured to China with the offer of very #high wages.

Still fuel in the tank

Offers of high wages to players is nothing new. America was once a "lucrative stop-off" for the likes of Pele, Beckenbauer, George Best and Johan Cruyff and more recently with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. However, the situation with the China Super League is different for two reasons; number one the wages, and number two the players that are moving over there.

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With regards to the former, as a result of the said investment, the Daily Mail stated that "these figures are off the scale". The 615,000 pounds sterling a week offered to Carlos Tevez illustrates that. However, it is the latter which is most surprising. Most players that are moving are not going at the end of their careers. When Steven Gerrard moved to the United States (US) he was 35; Frank Lampard was 36. There are a number of players that are moving with their careers still ahead of them, or at least with a few more years left to play at the highest level. A few examples illustrate this. Oscar, the Brazilian who played for Chelsea, move to China for 52 million pounds sterling and will receive 400,000 pounds sterling a week. Carlo Tevez, the former Manchester City and Juventus striker will earn around 615,000 pounds sterling a week. Other players who have moved include former Southampton striker Graziano Pelle and former Chelsea forward Demba Ba. But with Oscar 25, Tevez 32, Pelle 31 and Ba 30, it is clear that they still have #enough fuel in the tank to keep playing at the top.

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So why move?

So the question is, why move to China? The answer is obvious; it is the lure of the money and that is a shame. We want to see the best players ply their trade at the best clubs for as long as possible. And it is not as if what they were receiving at their former clubs was not ample already. It is bordering on greed and is making a mockery of the game. The situation was summed up by former footballer and pundit Jamie Carragher who described Oscar's move to China as "embarrassing", as reported on the Football365 website.