BY AYOMIDE JAYEOBA
Following the recent influx of foreign players to the Chinese Super League, former Super Eagles striker, Benedict Akwuegbu has disclosed that the impatient, high standard and the too demanding level of the Chinese football will make success difficult to achieve for most of Mikel Obi and others flooding the league.
Akwuegbu stated this in a chat with Daily Sunsport while assessing the influx of football stars to the Chinese Super League from top European clubs adding that he opened the way for Nigerian players to move to China with his success in the Chinese Super league when it was very unpopular.
He revealed that the money involved then was low as he was earned N9m a week then, “I am the first Nigerian player to play in China when I was signed by Shenyang Ginde in 2001 for $2m in a deal worth N9.86m per week. I later signed for Tianjin Teda and my success in the Chinese league paved the way for Nigerian players to move to the league with ease. As that time many players were afraid of playing in China because of its high demanding nature as the idea of football there is totally different from what is experienced in Europe.
“The level and standard is very high. That is why people like Didier Drogba went there and left. They run a lot, it’s like military training. They are very serious and train very hard. They give you short contracts, unlike Europe, where you can be given three years or more contracts. They only buy foreign players that can help their team. Once they see that you cannot help them, they get rid of you.”
Super Eagles’ skipper, John Mikel Obi recently move to China made him the 25th Nigerian player to move to the Chinese Super League after completing a three year deal worth around N83.3m per week to Tianjin TEDA and becomes the 5th Nigerian player to sign for the Chinese Club. Benedict Akwuegbu, Alfred Emuejeraye, Henry Makinwa and Obiora Odita have all played for the Chinese side.