One time it seemed that all top football players were just as likely as to join a Chinese club as they were to move to the Premier League or La Liga.
The incredible amount of money that was available to the Chinese Super League clubs in 2016 was used by them.
Oscar, Ramires and other stars made a huge move to Asia in search of big-money jobs.
Despite the funding, many European countries still thought that the league was a joke.
This is where you can find: Silver Screen Beats Sport looks at five players who ruined their careers by chasing China’s money…
Halfway through Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning 2016/2017 season, Brazilian midfielder Oscar completed a stunning £60million to Shanghai SIPG.
Oscar, despite being a creative force in China scoring 48 goals and helping 86 more, has fallen completely off the footballing scene.
He has not played for the Brazilian national team since leaving Stamford Bridge for a £20m-a-year contract at Shanghai.
He has defended his decision of moving to China at the age of 30, where he helped Shanghai win the Chinese Super League as well as the Chinese FA Super Cup.
“I don’t think about leaving China. There is a great project for me here. Every football player, or every person who works, wants to earn money to help their families,”He told the story The Guardian.
Which player did you feel most disappointed to see go to the Chinese Super League. Comment below…
Graziano Pela, a Premier League goal scorer who was reliable, left Southampton to join Shandong Luneng.
At the time of his move, he became the fifth-highest paid player in world football, netting an annual salary of £13m.
It was not surprising that he scored on a regular basis for the new club. He scored 51 goals in 101 Super League matches.
Pelle, who won the Chinese FA Cup, left Shandong at his contract’s end and spent six months in Parma.
After only scoring once in 13 appearances with the Italian side, the 36 year-old is currently out of a club.
Alex Teixeira had a remarkable start to 2015/2016 season that saw him score 22 goals in 15 Premier Liga matches for Shakthar Donetsk.
Teixeira didn’t move to Merseyside, but to Nanjing in China in January 2016, he joined Jiangsu Suning.
He was still a formidable goalkeeper for the club, guiding them to the Chinese Super League title 2020.
Teixeria, however, was not offered a new contract due to increasing financial difficulties. This left China to join the Turkish side Besiktas on January.
Ramires was an integral member of Chelsea’s winning teams in the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League. So it was quite a surprise that he chose to move to China.
Jose Mourinho’s sacking had seen his playing time decrease at the Blues, so the Brazilian opted to move to Jiangsu Suning.
Before returning to China to play for Palmeiras after a year, he failed to win any trophy.
“I see a lot of people saying that I came to China just for the money, but that’s not true,”Goal was defended by him.
“If you look at the situation I was going through at Chelsea at the time of the transfer you will see that I was [Guus] Hiddink’s last option in my position and this was frustrating me a lot.”
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After stints at Roma and Arsenal, Gervinho made the shocking move to Hebei China Fortune. He had just been promoted to the Chinese Super League.
He was just 28 when he moved to Asia for a fee in the region of £15m, though would make just 29 appearances in three seasons for the club.
The Ivorian had a stunning £130,000 goal bonus, though he was only able activate that four times.
After two-and-a half years in China Gervinho returned home to Italy to play for Parma, but he also defended the standard of football in China.
“Everyone thought I went to China to retire and get paid. They thought I was on vacation for a few years. You earn a lot – I had a huge salary – but then you have to prove you are worth it,”He told the story The Guardian.