Chelsea confirmed Friday the $74 million transfer of Brazilian midfielder Oscar to Shanghai SIPG.
Oscar will earn over $25.5 million a year with Shanghai SIPG at about $490,000 a week. Back with Chelsea, the midfielder earned less than a quarter of that amount at $110,000 weekly. With Shanghai SIPG, Oscar will officially rake in the world’s third largest football salary, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.
The São Paulo Football Club team will also earn 2.35 percent of the transfer cost, about $1.5 million, per FIFA’s solidarity mechanism for remunerating teams from players’ formative years.
During Oscar’s four-and-a-half years with Chelsea, the midfielder scored 38 goals in 203 games. The Brazilian midfielder has disappointed many fans with his decision to leave elite football for a Chinese salary.
China Plays To Win
Oscar’s transfer represents yet another Chinese gain in their invasion of the $5 billion player trading market.
Indeed, China’s current top-earning player is also Brazilian. Striker “Hulk” transferred to Shanghai SIPG for $61 million at a $392,000-a-week salary. Last year, Chinese teams outspent the richest European leagues with $296 million, according to international football association FIFA. According to Brazilian sports lawyer Marcos Motta, “the Chinese have unbalanced the market,” exceeding the combined spending of several of Europe’s largest leagues in the current transfer window.
Chinese “Danger” To Football
Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte expressed his fear regarding the “danger” of Chinese buying power and how it will affect the competitive spirit of the game. Other premier league players have received offers from Asian teams. An unnamed Chinese team recently outbid its European competitors in an effort to lure Chilean Aléxis Sanchez out east.
In fact, Conte is sounding pretty bitter about finding his club on the losing end of the football bidding wars. In an interview with The Telegraph, Conte gave his reaction to Oscar’s transfer to the Chinese league. “For sure, this market is an incredible market. It’s a great opportunity for all: for the coaches, also, not only for the players. They are offering a lot of money. But I think we must concentrate on our work, not think that in China there is a lot of money and they can arrive to take the players there.”
Sounds remarkably similar to how Brazilian clubs feel about rich European Leagues picking off their best players. Looks like now the Chinese league is prepping to turn the tables on the West.