20 of the best foreign players to have played in the Chinese Super League
Over the last few years, China has been attracting some of the biggest names in football to their clubs. With the ludicrous amounts of money being splashed around in the Chinese Super League, the teams can offer players extremely tempting and lucrative offers. If the league is able to keep attracting top talents over the next few years, it’s only a matter of time before the Chinese Super League becomes one of the top domestic football leagues in the world.
The Asian country has become a popular destination for many South American (most notably Brazilian) players including many who are part of the national team setup. Many top European players have also moved to the club in recent years with the transfer of Italian forward Graziano Pelle being one of the biggest ones. The Italian did not command a huge transfer fee, but he is now one of the highest-paid players in the world thanks to the Chinese Super League.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at 20 of the best players to have graced the Chinese Super League with their presence.
20 – Alex Teixeira
Alex Teixeira Santos began his professional career at Brazilian club Vasco Da Gama, making his senior debut at the age of 18. He spent two years in the senior squad, getting relegated to the Serie B and then winning promotion back to the top division the following year. In December of 2009, he was snapped up by Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. In his first season in Ukraine, the forward made only three appearances and won the Ukrainian Premier League. In his second season he made 39 appearances and scored 6 goals as Shakhtar Donetsk won the treble that year. He went on to win quite a few trophies with the club and finished as joint top scorer in the 2014/15 season with 17 goals.
In January 2016, Liverpool FC expressed strong interest in the Brazilian, and the player himself made it clear that he wished to join the Merseyside club. However, Shakhtar Donetsk rejected Liverpool’s bid of around £25m, selling him instead to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning for £42.5m. The 26-year-old has netted 9 times so far in 23 appearances for his new club.