Paulinho GZ Evergrande FC Barcelona

How Players Like Paulinho And Demba Ba Became Stars In China

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They were experienced players in the Premier League or German Bundesliga, now they are stars in China. Here are some of the biggest names who have chosen to potentially end their careers in the east 

We showed you how much of an effect the Chinese Super League had on the recent transfer window in part one. But they are not the only well-known players enjoying their careers in China. Some former cult heroes and fan favourites have been there for quite some time already… 

PAULINHO (27/GZ Evergrande)

How do we know him: Cost Spurs 20 million when they signed him in 2013 after attracting attention at the Confederations Cup. He never settled in North London though and moved to China in 2015. 


How do we know him: Was one of the most entertaining players at the 2010 World Cup as he shot Ghana into the quarter finals. Sunderland forked out 16 million euros for him after that. A bright start ended in disappointment though as he moved to the United Arab Emirates and then China in 2015. 

DEMBA BA (30/Shanghai Greenland Shenhua)

How do we know him: He attracted the attention of the Premier League through impressive performances in the Bundesliga with TSG Hoffenheim. West Ham took the risk and he didn’t fail to impress as he scored 7 goals in 12 games before moving on to Newcastle and then Chelsea. He moved to China in 2015 after a spell in Turkey. 

SEJAD SALIHOVIC (31/Beijing Renhe)

How do we know him: He was one of the key  orchestrators of TSG Hoffenheim’s rise to prominence before moving to China in 2015. 


How do we know him: If you followed German football in 2009 then you would have seen him dominating teams as he helped Wolfsburg win the title. 

He wasn’t always first choice, but Demba Ba scored some crackers for Chelsea 

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TIM CAHILL (36/HZ Greentown)

How do we know him: Cahill was the engine in Everton’s team for 8 years and continually proved that he was one of the most dangerous players in the air. He moved to China in 2015 after a spell with New York Red Bulls. 

ALAN (26/GZ Evergrande)

How do we know him: He became a fan favourite at Red Bull Salzburg and attracted the attention of big clubs around Europe after a number of scintillating Europa League performances. A couple of serious injuries halted his progress however, and a big payday in China was too good to refuse. The doubts around Europe about his fitness were confirmed when he suffered another serious setback shortly after his transfer. He has only played one game for the first team since arriving in 2015. 

RYAN MCGOWAN (26/Henan Jianye)

How do we know him: The Australian international spent time in Scotland with Hearts, Partick Thistle and Dundee United before moving to China in 2015. 

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02 2016 The Red Bulletin

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