Everyone talks about how the Major League Soccer (MLS) and soccer in general in the United States is on the up rise, right? However, our good friends in China are producing quite a league their own called the ‘Chinese Super League’.
China has the money to play with the big boys like the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc. The Chinese Super League itself is worth $309 million and has been on the rise over recent years (slightly less than the MLS’ worth). With some of that money, you’ve probably seen in recent transfer windows, the Chinese Super League have been bringing in quite a lot of foreign talent. Bringing in this foreign talent, most of whom are still playing at the international level is helping the league grow tremendously. We’ve seen over the past year some of the biggest names in soccer take their talents to China such as:
Fredy Guarin (€13)
Demba Ba (€13.5)
Tim Cahill (€10.5)
Jackson Martinez (€31)
All of these players besides Cahill are considered in the prime of their careers. Yaya Toure, Alex Teixeira and Wayne Rooney have also all been linked to soon join Chinese clubs in this summer’s transfer window. Compare this to the MLS, who have brought in a lot of foreign talent, but most being in the last few years of their careers such as Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, and Drogba. This is the MLS is quite frequently known around the world as the “retirement league”. Don’t get me wrong I love watch domestic soccer here in the states, but when I see China making strides to compete with the world’s best it makes me wonder.
"China's president Xi Jinping announced a goal to create a domestic sport economy worth $850bn by 2025. At the heart of this goal and the accompanying plan is the aim of hosting and winning the World Cup," Simon Chadwick, Class of 92 Professor at Salford University in Manchester, explained to IBTimes UK. With China’s sport economy continuing to increase it is easy to believe the Chinese Super League will be at the forefront of the country’s plans. It’ll for sure be interesting as years go on to see if the Chinese Super League or the MLS will be able to challenge the world’s top 5 leagues.
By: Brad Hosey