Football changed forever last month. Things happened so fast
it almost seemed impossible for football fans to process the events that occurred
during this transfer window.

Time during January’s mid-season transfer period seemed to
flash before our eyes. Before we could even blink, football had changed forever….

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China managed to pinch away a core of the world’s most promising
individuals last month. Not even the interest from the world’s biggest European
clubs could sway them away from the mouth-watering pay check in the East. It’s
a move which has changed the game.

China has always been a dominant world-wide figure. We have
seen our local economic growth in Australia venture overseas, where majority of
production and manufacturing has been stolen by the Far East.

Football always had potential in Asia, although China struggled
to create domestic interest due to its lack of quality at the national level.

In the last decade, sport fans in China were fixated on NBA.
The dominance of Yao Ming, a seven foot tall Chinese centre was almost unheard
of. Football was lost in the shadows for a long while.

The basketball sensation retired in 2011 which left the fans
without a worldwide hero, and needing something more.

Heads started to turn after the recent success from Chinese giants
Guangzhou Evergrande, winning the Asian Champions League in 2013 and 2015 under
Brazilian 2002 World Cup winner Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Their dominance in Asia created an added interest in other
investors looking to grow football in China.

One of the greatest supporters of football in China is
President Xi Jinping.

His love for the world game has been a driving force in the
football movement in China.

It has seen several world class in-form players make the ground-breaking
move to the Far East.

In under a month, the Chinese Super League has attracted the
worlds best including China’s most expensive ever signing Alex Teixeira for £38m
($55m).

These are just some of the internationals who have stepped foot on Chinese TURF this month:

Renato Augusto (from Corinthians)

Jackson Martinez (from Atletico Madrid)

Gervinho (from A.S. Roma)

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Fredy Guarin from Inter Milan

Ramires from Chelsea FC

Ramires scores first goal for 

Jiangsu Suning

Slowly but surely, the Chinese Super League is growing in
quality. In any business money talks, despite the cries from angry football
fans who believe it is killing our game rather than growing it.

For any rising player in the world, it’s the decision
whether to take the path to glorify your career or glorify your bank account.

In a perfect world, Alex Teixeira signs for Liverpool and
Jackson Martinez makes a record transfer to Arsenal but the unfortunate truth
is that football is driven by paper.

The game is growing rapidly in a place that displays so much
promise. With financial backing, world class players and a growing amount of
fans, the Chinese Super League has transformed from a rusty set of gears into a
well-oiled machine.

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By Ari Charilaou (He’s also on twitter here)

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