China send­ing soc­cer mar­ket to strato­sphere

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO - Wil­liam Hen­nelly

The Chi­nese Su­per League is find­ing that you win some and lose some when it comes to land­ing the world’s top soc­cer play­ers.

Car­los Tevez, an Ar­gen­tine na­tional team star cur­rently with club team Boca Ju­niors in Buenos Aires, is about to be­come the high­est-paid player in the world.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, Tevez, 32, will be paid more than $762,000 a week in a two-year con­tract with CSL side Shang­hai Shen­hua, which he is ex­pected to sign this week. The deal adds up to $75 mil­lion over two sea­sons.

Tevez played his last game for Boca on Dec 18 as fans begged him to stay with signs say­ing, No te vayas, Car­l­i­tos (Don’t go

This Day, That Year

Item­fromDec29,1982,in Chi­naDaily:More­newyear pic­ture­sand­cal­en­darsare be­ing­sol­dinBei­jingthis yearthanlast,the­gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tionde­part­ment ofXin­huaBook­store­says.…

Bei­jin­gre­ceived­about3.5 mil­lion­newyearpho­tos frompub­lish­ing­houses through­out­the­coun­try­this year,com­pared­with­3mil­lion­lastyear.

Spring Fes­ti­val is the most im­por­tant hol­i­day for the Chi­nese peo­ple. That is when away, Lit­tle Car­los).

Tevez had ap­peared con­tent to fin­ish his ca­reer at Boca Ju­niors un­til the CSL came call­ing with sacks of money.

Yes, many great play­ers will head to where the pitches are greener — and there are none greener than in China now. (Chelsea star Os­car from Brazil is headed to Shang­hai SIPG in a $64 mil­lion deal.)

But striker Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic of Manch­ester United in the Bar­clays Premier League has re­port­edly turned down a £120 mil­lion (about $149 mil­lion) deal from the CSL to stay in Eng­land.

Manch­ester United has con­firmed it will of­fer an­other year to Ibrahi­movic, ac­cord­ing to the Daily Mail of Lon­don.

The Premier League is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered the world’s best, if not al­ways in Cham­pi­ons League play but in pres­tige, and all fam­ily mem­bers get to­gether, just like dur­ing Christ­mas in the West.

In ad­di­tion to pre­par­ing new year pic­tures and cal­en­dars, many other tra­di­tions still play a cru­cial role in cel­e­brat­ing the new year.

Prepa­ra­tions start days be­fore the fes­ti­val, with peo­ple dec­o­rat­ing their rooms with ma­te­ri­als that re­flect the fes­tive mood.

All door pan­els will be pasted with Spring Fes­ti­val cou­plets, high­light­ing Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy with black al­though the CSL con­tin­ues to peel away some world­class tal­ent, some play­ers pre­fer com­pet­ing against the top play­ers.

“Be­ing an emerg­ing league and cer­tainly not the first choice of most star play­ers, foot­ball clubs in the CSL have to pay sky­rock­et­ing salaries to at­tract top foot­ballers,” An­drea Sar­tori, global head of sports ad­vi­sory prac­tice for KPMG, whose Foot­ball Bench­mark re­ports cover the busi­ness of soc­cer, told China Daily USA. “The long-term cost­ben­e­fit anal­y­sis of th­ese in­vest­ments has still to be demon­strated.”

The Daily Mail re­ported that the CSL planned to of­fer Ibrahi­movic £56 mil­lion this past sum­mer, but af­ter the form he’s shown this sea­son at Manch­ester, they made the more dra­matic pitch.

Ibrahi­movic, 35, who re­tired as a stal­wart for the Swedish na­tional team af­ter Euro 2016, char­ac­ters on red pa­per. The con­tent varies from house to house, depend­ing on the res­i­dents’ taste.

Also, pic­tures will be pasted on front doors to ward off evil spir­its and wel­come peace and abun­dance.

The Chi­nese char­ac­ter fu, mean­ing bless­ing or hap­pi­ness, is a must.

What’s more, red pa­per- is en­joy­ing a re­nais­sance at Old Traf­ford this sea­son with 11 goals in 16 matches for Jose Mour­inho’s team.

“As long as he (Mour­inho) needs me and the team needs me, I’m here,” Ibrahi­movic has said. “In my mind, I’m fresh. I’m like a 20-year-old boy. I feel fresh, I feel good, and I’ ll keep go­ing,” the rangy star said on Satur­day.

He went on later that day to score both goals for United in a 2-0 vic­tory over West Bromwich Al­bion.

While Ibra might not be ready to make the move to China now, the money will prob­a­bly stay on the table for him in 2018.

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Con­tact the writer at williamhen­nelly@ chi­nadai­lyusa.com

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cut­tings can be seen on win­dows and brightly col­ored new year paint­ings with aus­pi­cious mean­ings may be put on the wall.

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