Chinese domestic football changed since 2011. Guangzhou Evergrande lifted the Super League title. Since then till date, they have successfully defended that title by winning it four titles.
They have been decent this term but under Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, the team has stumbled in the final hurdle of this year’s tournament. Four games are left in the 2016 Chinese Super League season. Two victories will ensure the Asian Champions League winners lift the title. However, this is not surprising considering the amount of money spent.
Foreign acquisitions have helped clubs get success in the division. Italian striker Graziano Pelle joined the league this summer, signing for a staggering €38 million. He joined from Southampton and has been playing for Shandong Luneng. Guangzhou‘s rival Jiangsu Suning signed former Manchester City and Everton striker Jo, aside other Brazilians. Former Chelsea player Ramires and former Liverpool target Alex Teixeira have moved to China in big-money moves.
Guangzhou is owned by China’s richest man Jack Ma, and they have benefited immensely from investment in foreign players. Ma, who owns the country’s largest media company, has spent millions into Guangzhou Evergrande. His investment has made the club the top club in Asia. Ma’s money spent lured top stars like former Man City player Robinho, Paulinho, and Jackson Martinez. Some of these investments don’t turn out well, but those of Guangzhou have been a success.
Ricardo Goulan joined in 2015 after an impressive run for Brazil. In 81 games, the midfielder has scored a whopping 50 goals. His effort earned him several accolades. He won the Chinese Football Association Footballer of the Year, AFC Champions League Most Valuable Player, AFC Foreign Player of the Year, AFC Champions League Top Scorer. For someone without an experience of Asian football, it was an incredible run.
Scolari moved to China to ensure Guangzhou remain Chinese champions and win the Champions League. With the Brazilian proving to be a bargain, investments in youth players and foreign stars, Guangzhou definitely want to remain supreme for long.