Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Chinese club now boasts the world's third highest paid player after Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo

Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande made quite the splash this week when they signed Fluminense's Argentine midfielder Dario Conca to a deal reportedly worth £23.6 million over two and a half years, making him the world's third-highest paid player behind superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Pretty impressive for a footballer who is nearing his thirties and has never been capped by his country, nor played in Europe.

Admittedly, there is some uncertainty about the finer details of the agreement, but it is still massive money. Conca's Fluminense boss Abel Braga made that clear when he said: “This offer will put him in the top 10 highest-paid players in the world.”

Well, for starters, this is a club from China's third-largest city with an urban population of some 12 million. The city itself is a key transport hub in China's south, just 100-odd kilometres north of Hong Kong and Macau.

As for the club, Guangzhou Evergrande are the current leaders of China's Super League, holding a seven-point advantage from second-placed Beijing Guoan after 14 matches in the 30-game campaign. They look certainties to, at least, qualify for the 2012 AFC Champions League and are the clear favourites for the 2011 title.

Not bad for a club that 12 months ago were in China's second-tier League One.
However, their rapid rise isn't down to luck, rather the influence of the deep pockets of the club's wealthy owners Evergrande Real Estate Group (hence the latter half of the club's name), who took over following their relegation in 2009. Evergrande are one of the biggest real estate companies in China and their chairman Xu Jiayin is one of the richest men in the country, too, ranked 200 in the 2011 Forbes Global Wealthiest List.

If you know much about world economics, you'd realise property is big business right now in China and that's beginning to have an effect on football, with more investment from companies such as Evergrande.

Earlier this week, real estate giants Dalian Wanda committed to a £47m sponsorship deal with the Chinese Football Association, which would underwrite several projects. It's a colossal agreement that has some people talking about a new beginning for Chinese football, the game's sleeping giant.

Whatever the case, the point is the real estate industry holds major power in the nation and there's few better examples of that than Guangzhou Evergrande's current position, which most attribute to their financial might.

Soon after being relegated in 2009 following a match-fixing scandal, Evergrande assumed control and began investing in the squad, luring several high-profile additions including former English Premier League midfielder Zheng Zhi as well as Korean coach Lee Jang-Soo, who had previously all but guided Beijing Guoan to the Chinese title in 2009 before being sacked late in the campaign after a squabble with directors.

If promotion was ever in doubt, a club-record £2.2m was spent on Brazilian striker Muriqui midway through the campaign, before he added 13 goals in 14 games to help Guangzhou finish League One champions.

However, Evergrande's investment didn't end with promotion. In February, they set a new Chinese transfer record of £2.8m on Brazilian striker Cleo, who had only a few months earlier scored in the Uefa Champions League against Arsenal. Ex-Premier League midfielder Cho Won-Hee and South American duo Paulao and Renato Caja would follow soon after.

As you'd expect, the team are flying atop the Super League with a substantial buffer, but the ambition clearly doesn't stop there, following the news of Conca's signing, for another unprecedented fee of £8.9m.

Conca, who won the Brazilian Serie A Best Player award for 2010, is expected to make Guangzhou quite the force and it's hard to see anyone stopping them their march towards the title, with the AFC Champions League also in the club's sights.

Financial investment in football clubs isn't anything new in China, but transfer fees and salaries of this size are. Opinions are split on whether Evergrande are good for the game.

However, we've seen this happen before in Europe, with Russian oligarchs and oil-rich Middle East investors. Financial power has changed the sport there and it seems it's inevitable the same will occur now in China.


ninest123 said...

louis vuitton outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, michael kors, louboutin shoes, sac longchamp, chanel handbags, tiffany jewelry, christian louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, louboutin outlet, gucci outlet, prada outlet, prada handbags, longchamp, louboutin, jordan shoes, air max, ugg boots, replica watches, nike air max, nike outlet, nike air max, nike free, nike free, nike roshe run, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louboutin pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, air jordan pas cher, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, replica watches, burberry, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton, tory burch outlet

ninest123 said...

vans pas cher, sac guess, new balance pas cher, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, hollister pas cher, coach outlet, coach outlet, lululemon, ugg boots, timberland, kate spade handbags, ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, coach purses, nike blazer, ralph lauren uk, air force, nike air max, michael kors outlet, hogan, replica handbags, michael kors outlet, nike air max, true religion jeans, hermes, michael kors, nike free run uk, michael kors outlet, oakley pas cher, north face, michael kors, hollister, true religion outlet, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet online, michael kors, michael kors outlet, true religion jeans, ugg boots, true religion jeans, vanessa bruno, nike roshe, north face, converse pas cher, tn pas cher, burberry, mulberry, michael kors, ray ban uk

ninest123 said...

baseball bats, longchamp, nfl jerseys, ghd, jimmy choo shoes, vans shoes, nike air max, lululemon, new balance, ralph lauren, converse outlet, mac cosmetics, valentino shoes, nike huarache, oakley, north face outlet, iphone cases, soccer shoes, asics running shoes, wedding dresses, gucci, bottega veneta, soccer jerseys, chi flat iron, nike air max, hollister, babyliss, louboutin, p90x workout, reebok shoes, instyler, timberland boots, lancel, hollister, ray ban, mcm handbags, nike trainers, mont blanc, giuseppe zanotti, north face outlet, herve leger, celine handbags, insanity workout, ferragamo shoes, beats by dre, abercrombie and fitch, birkin bag, vans, hollister, nike roshe

ninest123 said...

canada goose uk, ugg pas cher, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, pandora charms, moncler, pandora charms, ugg boots uk, doudoune canada goose, moncler, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, links of london, juicy couture outlet, hollister, moncler, marc jacobs, wedding dresses, moncler outlet, montre pas cher, moncler, coach outlet, swarovski crystal, pandora jewelry, canada goose, moncler, thomas sabo, canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, karen millen, canada goose outlet, sac louis vuitton pas cher, swarovski, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, bottes ugg, moncler, louis vuitton, canada goose, pandora jewelry, replica watches, toms shoes, supra shoes



Related Posts with Thumbnails