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Qatar football and China football: Same method, different outcome

Qatar football and China football: Same method, different outcome

One is heading towards the World Cup, the other is struggling at their way of developing football. They all started the same, recruiting European superstars to their domestic league.

In order to develop their football industry, both Qatar and China had taken big steps in their domestic league. The formula is the same: help the club recruit the star players, create a franchise that attracts the players, and finally, improve the quality of the domestic players.

Qatar initiated its first change ever since 2009, with the inaugural Qatar Stars League. Many players from Brazil were the first to arrive. Then came the once Lyon legend in 2010, Juninho. The move made the headlines all over the world, indicating a major change in Asia football. 

Qatar football and China football: Same method, different outcome

That move paved the way for many other Brazilian names that want to see the dawn of their playing career in the new land of Qatar. Adriano, Nilmar or Diego Tardelli were once Brazil international, and came to Qatar at the end of their career. Much like the Chinese Super League now, only two clubs in Qatar back then did not have any Brazilian in their team.

That was 5 years ago. When you look at the foreign players at the Qatar Stars League now, there are only 3 clubs that possess a Brazillian in their team, and all of them are not progressing well in the league. The trend is now shifted to the European players, and some African players, with higher work ethics and morals. They have more connections with the managers, mostly from Europe, and could help them in training the domestic players.

Now have a look at China. Only a single club that does not have a Brazillian player in their team. Most of the Brazillian came to China for money, that's for certain. They left their potential and peak ability in Europe to make a fortune in East Asia. Their mission there is completely different from the foreigners in Qatar. Only if their ability can not match the European level will they leave for Qatar.

Take Paulinho for example. He left Europe for China at a very young age, 26. His ability had been proven at a short spell in Barcelona some years later. It shows that money call is a bounty call. It may be beneficial for the players, but for the domestic football industry, it surely has left a dent. The Chinese football team has not made a breakthrough ever since their Super League was introduced to the world. The team fell short in all of the competitions they are participating, and showed poor performance of football with a lack of quality players.

Qatar football and China football: Same method, different outcome

Unlike China, the veterans come to Qatar not only with a mission to make money, but also a mission to improve the football there. Xavi stayed to become the club's manager at Al Sadd after his retirement there. His team-mate, Gabi, is now a player/assistant manager at the club. Other names including Marco Fabian - the former Bundesliga star and Mexican international, Nigel de Jong - the Premier League winner and World Cup finalist, and their lastest inquiry, Mario Mandzukic, who scored a worldie at the UEFA Champions League final 3 years ago. 

Qatar is now the reigning ASIAN Cup champion, with an impressive performance that overcame Japan, South Korea and many other Asian football forces. The upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 is hosted in Qatar, and there is no doubt that they are ready for causing upset in the world's biggest football stage.

Qatar football and China football: Same method, different outcome

The story tells you that money does not buy you success. It is pure dedication and desire that will hit it off, and now, Qatar is undoubtedly on the right track.