?Paul Ince has lambasted some of football’s biggest stars for wanting to ply their trade in the Chinese Super League instead of in Europe’s leading divisions.
The Manchester United legend took to his ?Paddy Power blog to slam the likes of Oscar, John Obi Mikel and others for turning their backs on the likes of the Premier League in favour of chasing cash over in Asia.
The former midfielder explained that he couldn’t understand why footballers did not want to compete in the game’s greatest club competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League, and instead wanted to earn extortionate amounts of money in a lesser football league halfway across the globe.
He said: “I was brought up with the belief that I wanted to play for the biggest clubs in the world and playing in the most competitive competitions. That’s the Premier League and the Champions League. China doesn’t even compare.
“If you’re a top player why would you go when you can still have a successful career in the Premier League?
“There’s no chance I would have left Liverpool or Manchester United to go and play in China. Not even for £500k a week. If they had come calling when I was 31 and or 32 and my career was winding down, then absolutely I would have taken it. But as a footballer at your peak you should want to play with the best players and win trophies.”
Ince controversially joined Liverpool from Inter Milan, having previously turned out for fierce North West rivals United earlier in the career, but he added that players such as Diego Costa should think twice about being tempted by the wages on offer from Chinese clubs, and instead stay in England where he could win more prestigious trophies.
He said: “You also have Diego Costa at Chelsea. He’s scoring goals and enjoying his football, yet he’s still open to leaving for China. Why? £2m a month tax free is an obvious attraction, but that doesn’t substitute for winning medals and performing with the very elite in your game. That’s just pure greed.
“Whether it’s now or at of the season that isn’t the point. Costa is 28 years old. He could play at Chelsea for the next two years, earn good money, and still go to China when he’s 30.”
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