Chinese Super League

Chinese Super League 2016

The sack of Sao Paulo: China Super League sides plunder Brazilian champions Corinthians snapping up four of their title-winning side

Brazilian champions are unhappy that their players are choosing the fortunes on offer in China over improving themselves on the pitch

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 January, 2016, 10:53am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 January, 2016, 9:50am

It has taken just a few months for Chinese clubs to feast on Brazilian football champions Corinthians.

Chinese clubs have signed four players from the Sao Paulo-based team’s starting lineup that won the league title in November. The latest to go was defender Gil, who signed this week with Shandong Luneng.

China’s really messing with us. And maybe it isn’t over yet
Tite, Corinthians manager

Brazilian media reported that his transfer fee was $11 million (HK$85.9 million), with a monthly salary of $350,000.

Corinthians club president Roberto de Andrade has lamented that Chinese “clubs don’t even know my name” as they’ve closed in on Brazilian talent.

Andrade fears the club could be a shadow of itself next season, and is also embarrassed that one of Brazil’s richest teams can’t compete with China’s economic power.

READ MORE: Guangzhou Evergrande sell record scorer Elkeson to Shanghai for ‘national glory’

Midfielder Jadson, who departed for second-division Tianjin Quanjian, and midfielder Ralf, who signed for Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan, left the club before Gil.

Guoan have also signed midfielder Renato Augusto, who weeks earlier turned down an offer from German club Schalke 04.

Renato Augusto was courted by Schalke before signing for Beijing Guoan.

Former Bayer Leverkusen player Renato Augusto will reportedly earn $500,000 a month at Guoan, four times his salary at Corinthians. He was chosen by fellow players as the top player in the 2015 Brazilian league and scored in Brazil’s 3-0 victory over Peru in a World Cup qualifier in November.

[Chinese] clubs don’t even know my name
Roberto de Andrade, Corinthians club president

Two other Corinthians players are still entertaining offers: midfielder Elias, who has been a Brazil starter under coach Dunga, and striker Alexandre Pato, who has been linked with a move to English Premier League champions Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Renato Augusto and Gil could be jeopardising their chances of playing for the national side.

READ MORE: How China is luring top Brazilian footballers (clue: large sacks of cash)

Dunga has said he’ll still be watching players in China. But he has also acknowledged that players from Asia arrive worn out and jet lagged for World Cup qualifiers in South America.

Corinthians coach Tite, who turned down an offer from an unnamed Chinese club, is unhappy. He has reminded his players that going to China means choosing money over improving on the pitch.

“China’s really messing with us,” he told reporters. “And maybe it isn’t over yet.”