Don’t come to China just for money – Cannavaro

Cannavaro said: “Football in China is not easy. You play in stadiums like this where if you are not fit, if you don’t concentrate 100 percent, you cannot play.” PHOTO: PopSugar

Fabio Cannavaro has warned that foreign stars who move to China in the belief that it will be an easy payday are doomed to fail.

The Italian World Cup winner and coach of Chinese Super League (CSL) side Tianjin Quanjian signed prolific striker Anthony Modeste on loan last month from Cologne with a view to a permanent 29-million-euro ($34m) move.

The Frenchman joins a growing list of expensive signings moving to China on big contracts, with Carlos Tevez at Shanghai Shenhua reportedly on among the highest wages in world football.

Tevez has flopped spectacularly however and looks sure to leave China at the end of the season in November.

Cannavaro, who at Tianjin has overseen the rejuvenation of Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato and also manages Belgian international Axel Witsel, said: “It depends on the character.

“If the players come here with motivation, they can really enjoy it. But if the players come here just to get money, they won’t enjoy it.”

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s CSL clash at second-placed Shanghai SIPG, Cannavaro said: “Football in China is not easy. You play in stadiums like this where if you are not fit, if you don’t concentrate 100 percent, you cannot play.”

Cannavaro, a former defender who lifted the World Cup as captain of Italy in 2006, denied that Modeste had swapped top-level European football in Germany for China only for a cash windfall.

“If you change countries, if you come to Asia to play, of course the money is important because it is not just about glory,” said Cannavaro, who has led Tianjin to third in the CSL table.

“But I said to Tony (Modeste) about our project: we are a young club but we want to improve a lot in the next two to three years and our objective is to win the Asian Champions League.”



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