A lot has been written about players going to play in China especially in the English speaking based media. Players are only off to China for the money is the claim, and the quality of the league is nowhere near the quality of the leagues in Europe.
It has been said that players who go there will effectively be ending their careers for the chance of a big payday, well there is no question that the foreign players have agreed to go and play in the Chinese Super League because of the amount of money being thrown at them to do so. However Paulinho has shown that it does not have to be the end of your career by deciding to play there for a few years and earn buckets upon buckets of RMB.
Now with all the World Cup squads announced it is clear that some of the players still hold a lot of value to their national teams, and national team coaches. Eight foreign players playing in China have been selected in their World Cup squads, the eight are Renato Augusto, Javier Mascherano, Odion Ighalo, Jon Obi Mikel, Jose Fonte, Axel Witsel, Yanick Carrassco, and Kim Young-gwon.
With the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and Belgium selecting players from the Chinese Super League it shows that you don’t suddenly become a worse player than you were just because you have moved to a competition that is deemed to be weaker than the European based leagues.
The selection of the Belgian based players is a bit contentious seeing as Radja Nainggolan wasn’t picked but him and Roberto Martinez clearly don’t get on and Martinez is a bit of a clown for not picking him. A lot was made online about it, and how can the players ‘wasting their time’ in China be selected over Nainggolan, but they also selected Felliani so that argument doesn’t cut it with me, because Felliani is a bit rubbish compared with Nainggolan.
All in all, this proves that moving to China doesn’t need to be the end of a player’s career as Paulhino got a big money move to Barcelona, and players based in China are still being selected for their World Cup squads.