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Chinese Football League
The Chinese Super League is the top tier professional football competition in China. Since its takeover from the Jia A-League in 2004, it has rapidly grown with an increase in the number of teams, sponsorship deals, salaries and season attendances.
In order to increase the interest in China's domestic football league, rich Chinese team owners have targeted high profile football players from around the world.
The signing of high profile football players began with Nicolas Anelka who fell out of favour at Chelsea. The French striker agreed to a two-year contract with Shanghai Shenhua. Soon after, ex-teammate Didier Drogba followed Nicolas Anelka to Shanghai Shenhua which became the biggest record signing in the Chinese Super League. Other high profile players to join teams in China are Yakubu Aiyegbeni from England's Blackburn Rovers, Sevilla's Frederic Kanoute and Barcelona's Seydou Keita.
Since these record signings, Chinese Super League teams are queueing up to sign more of the world's superstars including David Beckham who is still to decide where he would like to play. Another possible high profile player who could end up playing in China is Chelsea's Frank Lampard. The English international player is still yet to learn his fate at Chelsea as there have not been any contract negotiations. As time goes on it seems less likely that he will receive a contract extension which increases the possibility of a contract offer from a Chinese club.
As time goes on and the Chinese Football League continues to grow, we will see more of our favourite high profile football players at Chinese football teams.