The lure of the yuan

Updated: 2015-03-20 11:07

(China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

The lure of the yuan

Brazil's Diego Tardelli celebrates after scoring a first goal against Argentina during the international friendly soccer match titled "The Super Classic of the Americas", at the National Stadium, or the Bird's Nest, in Beijing, October 11, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

China is becoming a magnet for Brazilian coaches and players, with more than a dozen going there. And money is the biggest lure.

In addition to Brazil, the Chinese Super League has imported foreign players from countries as diverse as Bosnia, Jamaica and Zambia. Each team in the league can sign up to five players.

In January, two of Brazil's top players signed for Chinese clubs. Diego Tardelli, 29, left Atltico Mineiro for Shandong Luneng for more than $5 million and Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande paid almost three times that for Ricardo Goulart, the attacking midfielder who was the third top scorer in Serie A last year. He is only 23.

"China reminds me a lot of Japan in years gone by," Cuca, the former Atltico Mineiro coach who signed Tardelli for Shandong Luneng, told the Buenos Aires Herald last month. "The Japanese market was strong and they looked to Brazil to learn (footballing) values. That is what is happening with China today. They are trying to learn from the different schools and have players from lots of different countries."

In a story headlined: Brazilian players head to Chinese league for cash and calm, Cuca, who moved to China after guiding Atltico Mineiro to their first ever Libertadores Cup in 2012, said working conditions in China are far better than with even the biggest Brazilian clubs.

And players cite money as the main reason.

"I am getting four times what I got at Sao Paulo," Aloisio, Shandong's Brazilian winger, said in an interview with Reuters. "It was an offer I couldn't turn down; it was my future and the future of my family."

According to statistics released by Germany's Transfer Market when the Chinese winter transfer window closed, the Chinese Super League, spent a record 108 million euros ($116 million) to buy players and coaches on the 2014/2015 transfer market.

The Chinese league, which has been professional for only 20 years, stands second to only the English Premier League in terms of the money spent on transfers, topping most of the top-flight leagues around the world.

In addition to the high salaries, the Chinese clubs pay the players' tax bills, and players say they are paid on time, unlike in Brazil where payments often are delayed for months.

"In Brazil, almost a third goes on taxes, and it is difficult to get paid," Cuca said. "In China, you are guaranteed to get your money on time. I'm not going to lie; I came here firstly to ensure my financial independence."

According to Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, the Chinese Super League, for the first time in history, has become the league spending the most money to buy players from the Brazilian league.

The Chinese league spent 37.65 million euros in its purchase of six players from Brazil. In the past, European clubs from Portugal, Spain, Germany and Italy were the major buyers of Brazilian players.