The Chinese are interested in more than just football from all those foreign players

With the recent rapid signings of top flight players from all over the world into the Chinese Super League, one is left wondering if it’s all about football for the Chinese.

Is there a sinister motive behind their all of a sudden football interest?

The Chinese Football Association Super League commonly known as the Chinese Super League (CSL) is the highest tier of professional football in China, operating under Chinese Football Association. It began in 2004 with 12 teams but currently it has 16 clubs in the league. As per now it has numerous foreign players but each team is allowed to have only five players and to field the maximum of four players per field game. This has attracted a lot of criticism from various stakeholders who deem this rule as unfair.

The league is luring players and other football stakeholders into their country with their cash, and I think it is not just for the love of football. There is more to it than meets the eye. The Chinese are brilliant and I’m absolutely sure they know what they are doing.

China is power-hungry. They want to be a super power and to be a world’s super power, you have to start thinking out of the box. Do whatever it takes.

Before you start thinking that it is just another baseless allegations by another wannabe badass(which is partly true), first hear me out and diss me later.
I will try to be as moderate as humanly possible because right now as I’m writing you this, we have our very own, my former comrade at The Technical University of Kenya, Michael olunga a.k.a Engineer playing in the Chinese Super League. Olunga who we all know as Harambee stars’ striker, and one of the best as per now. Previous with Gor Mahia football club, made a shock move to Guizhou Zicheng in China from Djurgardens IF, a Swedish topflight club for around sh. 487 million. It is said he earns a monthly salary of around 12 million. Quite a figure for a young Kenyan.

Olunga is not the only one. He joins a long list of other footballers and managers alike, already in the Chinese Super League including high-profile coaches like; Luiz Felipe Scolari of Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, Andre’ Villas-Boas of Shanghai SIPG and Manuel Pellegrin of Hebei China Fortune just to name a few.

The well-known  footballers who are in China playing professional football include:

  • Carlos Tevez, Obafemi Martins and Fredy Guarin of Shanghai Shenhua
  • Oscar, Hulk, Ricardo Carvalho and Elkeson of Shanghai SIPG
  • John Obi Mikel and Brown Ideye of Tianjin Teda
  • Alexandre Pato of Tianjin Quanjian
  • Nikica Jelavic'(Olunga’s teammate) of Guizhou HFZC
  • Papiss Cisse and Graziano Pelle’ of Shandong Luneng
  • Ramires of Jiangsu Suning
  • Fernandinho of Chongqing Lifan

The above listed players are just some of a very long list of footballers, mostly Brazilians who are now making a living playing in China. I chose the ones above because they are the most popular to football supporters around the world. Who doesn’t know players like Oscar, Obi Mikel or Ramires, who previously played for Chelsea or Carlos Tevez who was once with Manchester United and then Manchester City.


illuminated city skyline at night
Photo by Pixabay on

China want to be the next superpower and they have done so much to ensure that happens. They are dominating in the number of industries, producing almost anything you can think of. They have a good financial sector and has engaged in globalization with the rest of the world. It has done all that but it is said that it still lacks the kind of global support that the United States of America receives. It only has full support in the Asia Continent as others, especially Western countries don’t trust it and it’s currency too is not considered international yet, which is one of the conditions for becoming a global superpower.

To quote Alice Lyman Miller in defining a superpower, “A country that has the capacity to project a dominating power and influence anywhere in the world, and sometimes, in more than one region of the globe at a time, and so may plausibly attain the status of global hegemony.” Currently, only the united States fulfills that criteria of being considered a superpower.

So China knows to beat the United States it will have to earn the other countries’ trust by creating a good relationship with all the nations. Not just by sending its people to other countries like it has been doing, but by welcoming in people from other nations too. Mixing their population with people of all races, just like the US. The social interaction can further lead to marriages and who knows what next.

Don’t know if you are following me but all I am trying to say is that the Chinese knows what they are doing. What else can make China more friendly than seeing a black kid in one corner of China, in another corner a Spanish, Jew or Latino. When it comes to military strength you need all these blood in your army and you will never be scared of anyone. One of the reasons that makes the United States military stand out. It is not just about weapons, because China too has the potential of making even deadlier war weapons.

All these has to start from somewhere and where else than football, world’s most popular sport with the best racial balance.

The Chinese were never known for playing football and I remember growing up there was this joke we used to be told, that the reason the Chinese never featured in the World Cup is because they took advantage of their look-alike features and fielded more than eleven players, or kept changing players without the match referee’s knowledge, which caused them to be banned.

Maybe when they started the Chinese Super League it was all about football and the money in the football industry and then along the way realized they can actually use one stone to kill three birds. Compete with some of the best leagues in the world like the English Premier League and the La Liga, and bring in all that money and attention to their doorstep. Maybe next it will be creating their own NBA and before we know it, all the roads will be leading to China.

The Chinese are brilliant and I’m sure they are after more than just football talent and a powerful football league, I think.

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