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Chinese Super League 2017

‘We’re pioneers,’ says €60m Oscar of big-money moves to China

Midfielder says he and fellow big names will help develop Chinese football

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 1:59pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 January, 2017, 9:17am

Asian record transfer Oscar declared himself a “pioneer” as he defended China’s huge spending on overseas players.

The Brazilian, who joined Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea for a record 60 million this month, said he and fellow big-money signings would help raise the level of Chinese football.

“I am one of the pioneers, along with those players who went before me, and I’m coming to China to help the league and help more players get to know this league,” Oscar told the official website of the Qatar World Cup organising committee. Shanghai are in Qatar for winter training.

“It is good for football that the game grows in new areas of the world. China has invested a lot of money in the league and every team now has good players. This will help raise the level of the league and football in the country.

“I haven’t stayed there a long time yet, just two days in Shanghai, but the impressions were great, the buildings are amazing and it is a very nice city. My priority is to win the league this season.”

Oscar’s move to China was the latest to shock world football, with many pundits in the west questioning why a 25-year-old Brazilian international would want to abandon the top leagues of Europe.

He insisted the move was not all about money, despite a reported salary of 460,000 per week.

On Monday, the Chinese Football Association confirmed it was clamping down on the number of foreign players amid criticism from world football and state media.