Selling your soul to the devil is something that every footballer would’ve contemplated for a moment or two, but these lot actually went ahead and did it.
With the luxurious offers from China being too tempting to turn down, the nine gentlemen on this list made the move to the Far East and never looked back – so the real question is, how are they doing over there?
Great, for the most part, as you’d imagine. For these guys it’s the equivalent of playing against a bunch of Subbuteto toys because when it comes down to it, the Chinese just aren’t on the same level as Europe right now and that isn’t arrogance. It’s just the truth. Sure they may possess one of the most rapidly growing leagues in the world, but we all know that money is the main motivator behind that.
Having bounced around the Russian, Portuguese and now Chinese leagues throughout his career, we have to admire Hulk for his dedication to picking up as much money as possible for doing as little as he can. Still, he's scored seven goals in 12 appearances thus far so fair play. Image Source: Twitter
Despite being a handy tool on FIFA and Football Manager, Axel Witsel has never really stuck his neck out and gone searching for that move into mainland Europe. Still, Tianjin Quanjian won't care one bit about that with Axel already notching a goal in his two appearances for the club. Image Source: Twitter
Everybody hates good old Carlos but we admire him for making the move over to China because let's face it, a guy of that quality can do what he wants and rightly so. In terms of his efforts so far for Shanghai, Carlos has netted one goal in addition to picking up two assists - all in just 180 minutes of play. Image Source: Twitter
Lavezzi hasn't exactly hit the ground running for Hebei CFFC, but the season has barely begun. Give him time and things will start to flourish - well, you would hope. Image Source: Twitter
You could always tell that Jelavic was going to fall into that pattern of being a player who was alright, but somehow managed to bang in dozens of goals despite not actually being that talented. Case and point - he scored 15 goals in 29 appearances in China last year. Image Source: Twitter
Is it even legal for Oscar to be playing professional football? The guy looks like he's about 10 years old, and yet he still finds himself at the forefront of much criticism from fans around the world. He couldn't care less though, having already banged in two goals within his first three games. Image Source: Twitter
Yeah sure Graziano scored five goals in 15 appearances last season, but all we really care about is his hair. Seriously, the Chinese should feel honoured that this wonderful creation is blessing them with his presence. Image Source: Twitter
It's a shame that Martinez chose to fly away to the Far East as opposed to sticking it out in Europe, but four goals in 16 appearances isn't the worst start to life in the CSL. Image Source: Twitter
Maybe it's something in the water at Stamford Bridge that makes their players want to move half way across the world, or maybe they're just a horrible club to play for. Either way, Ramires also made the jump to China and actually has more appearances over there than anyone on this list with five goals in 38 appearances last season. Hell, he's probably a national treasure at this point. Image Source: Twitter
The real query facing a lot of fans is whether or not they’d do the same thing if they were put in a similar position. We’re pretty confident that we’d take the money, because at the end of the day a better life for your family is more important than anything else. Plus, China is a beautiful country so getting to indulge yourself in a different culture like that isn’t the worst thing in the world.
Or, or – we could just all call them mercenaries because that’s the ‘cool’ thing to do.