Football’s Forgotten $19 Million Per Year Man Is Scoring Bangers In China
Thinking about the Chinese Super League is something like remembering Y2K, the year time turned 2,000 years old (fact). Worries built up ferociously directly before the turn of the century, but the dropping of the ball confirmed that everything would be okay.
The CSL, for a few months, seemed capable of its own global disruption, and the belief that China would simply buy anyone and everyone for exorbitant sums hit its peak when Shangong Luneng made Graziano Pelle the fifth-highest paid footballer on the planet in 2016.
The season before, Pelle had scored a modest 11 goals in 30 Premier League appearances for Southampton. You could see how this method of enhancing the CSL might be unsustainable, and the league has since enforced measures to stop this sort of thing from ever happening again.
However, you don’t win 20 international caps for Italy by being garbage albeit with a nice haircut. No, you’ve got to be pretty damn insane at football to win 20 caps for the Azzurri. This goal isn't worth $19 million but still.