5 Of the most famous players to move to the Chinese Super League
After plundering a tremendous amount of goals for FC Porto in Portugal’s Primeira Liga – 54 in 99 appearances, in fact – Brazilian forward Hulk was a player in demand in the mid-2010s. Europe’s giants were interested in bringing the player in, but instead, the summer of 2012 saw him make a move to Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg for a fee of €60m.
Hulk ended up playing for 4 seasons at Zenit, but when it was time to move on, rather than head to Italy, Spain or England, the Brazilian chose to move to the Chinese Super League – with money surely being one of his biggest motivations. Shanghai SIPG paid Zenit some £45m for his services – an Asian football record at the time – and handed him a wage packet of around £320k per week, giving him around £16.6m per year.
To his credit, Hulk has continued to perform excellently since his move to China, scoring a total of 68 goals in 121 games across all competitions for Shanghai SIPG and helping them to a league title in 2018 and a Chinese FA Super Cup in 2019. It’s a pity we never got to see the Brazilian at a top-level European club, but he’s had a great career nonetheless.Published 08 Jan 2020, 16:26 IST