Chinese blueprint in women's football
Africa's finest heading to China l Photo - The Nation

Chinese blueprint in women's football

Bizarre transfer fees from Chinese clubs are also creeping into women's football.

gianluca-lia
Gianluca Lia

The January transfer window witnessed some of the most bizarre transfer movements as many household names in football world, left their clubs to embark in the Asian continent, precisely in China

Blockbuster transfers

Shanghai SIPG, coached by Andre Villas Boas, spent almost 120 million euro just to bring in Brazilian duo Oscar and Hulk from Chelsea and Zenit St. Petersburg respectively. 

Jiangsu Suning replied by spending 80 million euros to purchase the services of former Chelsea midfielder Ramires and Alex Teixeira, long-term target of the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea. 

Most recently, Axel Witsel rejected Juventus offer to join TJ Quanjain, under the guidance of Italian Fabio Cannavaro, where he will perceive around 16 million euro yearly. 

Other players who will be receiving loads of money as salary are Italian Graziano Pelle (16 million euro yearly at Shandong Luneng) and Carlos Tevez (Almost 40 million euro yearly at Shanghai Shenhua).

How come Chinese clubs are investing all of a sudden?

Basically, because the Chinese governments wants to. The game of football has been identified as a tool for propaganda but also ignite themselves into another area in world market. 

Moreover, the government has announced his intentions of creating a football culture, with the aim that in the next few years, the Chinese National Team, whose sole appearance in the FIFA World Cup dates back to 2002, wins the world's biggest prize in football, even though the influx of foreign players who land in China in a 'vacation-mode' may not be beneficial for this project. 

Meanwhile, not only men's football has been invaded by Chinese investments, but also women's football as we near the Chinese Women's Super League.

China Women's Super League 

The eight-team league is the highest tier in Chinese women's football. The 2017 campaign will kick start on March 18 and will see its end in November.

As regarding the limit of foreigners in the league, only three foreigners are permitted in every team, like in the men's league. The rule has recently been amended in order to give more playing time to Chinese players despite the transfers. 

With six titles, Shanghai SVA are the team with most titles while Dalian Quanjian are the defending champions. 

When it was founded, in 1997, it was called Premier League. Later on in 2004, it was renamed to Women's Super League while between 2011 and 2014 it was referred to as National League before being changed to CWSL. 

In the meantime, the Chinese Women's National Team's roster is comprised by players who play in the Chinese League and currently they are ranked 13th in the FIFA Rankings, underlining the quality level in the Chinese game, even though it is not a secret that China were once a powerhouse in women's football, fourth in the 1995 FIFA World Cup and runner up in the following edition, falling only on penalties against the United States. 

Jiangsu Suning among the Chinese spenders l Photo - Jiangsu Suning
Jiangsu Suning among the Chinese spenders l Photo - Jiangsu Suning

Africa's finest embark in Asia

The 2015 and 2016 Africa Women's Player of the Year, Gaelle Enganamouit and Asisat Oshoala have joined championship holders D. Quanjian, as the team is striving to bolster their offensive department in the interest of defending the league title in a successful manner, according to JWsports1.

Both players will be aiming to get back to their best forms following their poor shows in 2016, having excelled during their respective 2015 campaigns. 

While Oshoala managed to net only two goals with Arsenal Ladies, Enganamouit suffered a long-term injury on her debut with Rosengard and had to miss large part of the season, where eventually she could not regain her maximum form. 

Jiangsu Suning putting efforts in women's football 

Jiangsu Suning women's team are looking to emulate their male coutnerparts in the role of heavy spenders.

They have brought in Norwegian international Isabell Herlovsen, who is rumuored to be on a $120,000 salary contract while they have snatched Brazilian Gabi Zanotti from CWSL holders, D. Quanjian. 

Herlovsen is considered a legend in Norway, having won more than 100 caps for the Norwegian national team.

On the other hand, Zanotti has played for several clubs in Brazil, including Santos before the same club was controversially folded in order save money for Neymar's contract. 

J. Suning are owned by Suning Holding Groups who also have around 70% of Italian giants, Inter

Surprise package  

The biggest transfer of all is probably Cristiane's move to Changcun Zhuoyue at the end of the 2016/2017 French league, as she is currently pursuing her career with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian international will become the highest paid player in women's football once the deal is over and done with. 

At the age of 31, Cristiane has played 127 matches, netting 86 times for Brazil and she is also the all-time leading goal scorer in the history of the Olympic Games. 

Joining her will be Cameroonian international Madeleine Ngolo Mani and the other Brazilian Raffaelle Souza, according to FOX Sports Brazil.

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