The huge influx of financial investment and roping in top notch players in the Chinese Super League had grabbed the eyeballs of football aficionados and people were all praise about the progressive drive in Chinese soccer.
However reflecting upon the performance of the clubs in AFC Champions league shapes a different story all together. Two of the big-spending clubs Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Suning flopped in the regional competition and have already been shown the exit from the group stages of the league.
With the Fifa Club World Cup beginning from 8th December all hopes rest upon Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Shanghai SIPG and Shandong Luneng, who made it to the last 16 of the competition.
This January transfer window, the Chinese clubs roped in high profile players and broke the Asian transfer record. Spending an unprecedented 317 million euros, the Chinese clubs overtook the cash rich English Premier League and sent waves across the entire footballing fraternity.
In the last three years Guangzhou Evergrande has won the Champions League twice. However Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side were particularly poor this time with the last two defeats to Sydney FC and Urawa Red Diamonds, putting an end to their campaign.
Top Guns Guangzhou Evergrande and Jiangsu Suning managed only two wins from their six group games in the league.
Guangzhou Evergrande’s marquee players Jackson Martinez has been unable to match the standards previously set by Elkeson, now with Shanghai SIPG.
The defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande spent 42 million euros to bring Jackson Martinez from Atletico Madrid and described him as a ‘’goal poacher” and a “fox in the box” to on their website.
A star studded Jiangsu Suning with big names like Alex Teixeira and ex-Chelsea midfielder Ramires also matched a similar fate after being held by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 2-2.
This season, Jiangsu Suning splurged a whooping 50 million euros to buy Brazilian star Alex Teixeira and 28-million euros to rope in the services of Ramires from Chelsea.
However the league competition is not yet over for the Chinese clubs as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Shanghai SIPG finished on the top of Group G and will face FC Tokyo in the last 16. Former Brazilian coach Meneze’s side also made it to the last 16 and are up for a tough challenge against Sydney FC.