Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben has criticized players moving to the Chinese Super League for huge money, saying a transfer to China is basically acknowledging one’s career is over.
The Netherlands international, who had just signed a new deal that would keep him at Bayern till 2018, is saying this at a time when a host of high profile players are signing deals to move to the Far East.
Carlos Tevez has become the highest paid footballer in the world following his move to China this January; Oscar, 25, also recently agreed a £400,000-a-week deal to join Shanghai SIPG; Nigeria international John Mikel Obi moved to Tianjin TEDA, and Chelsea striker Diego Costa likely to be sold in the summer.
But Robben believes players in their late twenties are wasting their careers by moving to China.
“I do not understand players going to China at the age of 27 or 28. Those guys are at the peak of their career. That is a waste really. You only get one career. I sort of understand players who are already in their 30s,” the former Chelsea and Real Madrid player told Radio 538.
“I am having a great time here at Bayern and I am playing at one of the best clubs in the world. I would not know where to move at my age.
“A transfer to China would be something else entirely. That is basically acknowledging your career is over. I want to keep playing at the highest level as long as possible.
“It is all about a certain madness that is ongoing in China right now. They are offering some crazy figures. I also got some offers. The money on show is so crazy that you at least have to consider it.
“They are offering maybe four, five or six times the amounts you get at a big club. But money has never driven me. That is why I have had such a great career. It is about football for me,” he stated.
Robben will be available for Bayern Munich’s round-of-16 Champions League tie against Premier League title contenders Arsenal, with the first leg taking place on February 15, 2017.
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