Big money can be big mis­take, says Tian­jin boss

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

SHANG­HAI — Fabio Can­navaro has warned that for­eign stars who move to China in the be­lief that it will be an easy pay­day are doomed to fail.

The Ital­ian World Cup win­ner and coach of Chi­nese Su­per League side Tian­jin Quan­jian signed pro­lific striker An­thony Modeste on loan last month from Cologne with a view to a per­ma­nent $34 mil­lion move.

The French­man joins a grow­ing list of ex­pen­sive sign­ings mov­ing to China on big con­tracts, with Car­los Tevez at Shang­hai Shen­hua re­port­edly on $45 mil­lion a year, the high­est wages in world soc­cer.

Tevez has flopped spec­tac­u­larly how­ever and looks sure to leave China at the end of the sea­son in Novem­ber.

Can­navaro, who at Tian­jin has over­seen the re­ju­ve­na­tion of Brazil­ian for­ward Alexan­dre Pato and also man­ages Bel­gian in­ter­na­tional Axel Wit­sel, said: “It de­pends on the char­ac­ter.

“If the play­ers come here with mo­ti­va­tion, they can re­ally en­joy it. But if the play­ers come here just to get money, they won’t en­joy it.”

Speak­ing ahead of Sun­day’s CSL clash at sec­ond-placed Shang­hai SIPG, Can­navaro said: “Foot­ball in China is not easy. You play in sta­di­ums like this where if you are not fit, if you don’t con­cen­trate 100 per­cent, you can­not play.”

Can­navaro, a for­mer de­fender who lifted the World Cup as captain of Italy in 2006, de­nied that Modeste had swapped top-level Euro­pean soc­cer in Ger­many for China only for a cash wind­fall.

“If you change coun­tries, if you come to Asia to play, of course the money is im­por­tant be­cause it is not just about glory,” said Can­navaro, who has

If the play­ers come here with mo­ti­va­tion, they can re­ally en­joy it. But if the play­ers come here just to get money, they won’t en­joy it.”

Fabio Can­navaro, coach of CSL side Tian­jin Quan­jian

led Tian­jin to third in the CSL stand­ings.

“But I said to Tony (Modeste) about our project: ‘We are a young club but we want to im­prove a lot in the next two to three years and our ob­jec­tive is to win the Asian Cham­pi­ons League’.”

Aubameyang of­fer

Mean­while, Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang said on Sun­day that he was the sub­ject of a big-money of­fer from China, but his club Borus­sia Dort­mund was not pre­pared to let him leave this sea­son.

Aubameyang, who is un­der con­tract un­til 2020, told Ger­man news­pa­per Die Welt that there was an of­fer from an un­named Chi­nese club but Dort­mund put its foot down while the player him­self did not seem keen on the move.

The 28-year-old, who was Dort­mund’s stand­out per­former for the past two sea­sons, had been linked to Tian­jin and Pep Guardi­ola’s Manchester City.

“Yes, I had an of­fer. But I think the Chi­nese were hard pressed to sub­mit a bid to Borus­sia Dort­mund,” said Aubameyang.

“I think the struc­tures are still not as pro­fes­sional as in Europe.”

How­ever, the Gabon in­ter­na­tional ad­mit­ted he was tempted.

“It is nor­mal that you think about it, if so much money is of­fered,” he said.

“I know that many peo­ple have said that you can not go to China, be­cause the foot­ball (there) is a step back.

“But I think that any­body would think about it when he gets such an of­fer.”

Aubameyang, the Bun­desliga’s top scorer last term with 31 goals, scored in Satur­day’s Ger­man Su­per Cup de­feat at home to old ri­val Bay­ern Mu­nich.

Dort­mund lost 5-4 in a penalty shootout, with Marc Bar­tra see­ing his de­ci­sive spot­kick saved. The match had fin­ished 2-2 over 90 min­utes.

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