- Premier League
Dario Conca: Foreign stars are important for Chinese Super League's development
Guangzhou Evergrande's Argentine star believes the arrival of Didier Drogba, Lucas Barrios and Nicolas Anelka can only be good for Chinese footballGuangzhou Evergrande's star Argentine import Dario Conca has weighed into the debate on foreign stars heading for China's Super League, claiming its important for the development of the domestic competition.
The 29-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder penned a lucrative deal with Evergrande in July last year making him one of the world's highest paid players.
Conca insisted the arrival of players like Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Lucas Barrios into China on big-money deals was good for the competition.
"Importing international star players and coaches is of great importance to shorten the gap in football development between China and other countries," Conca told the China Daily.
Critics have claimed the focus on expensive foreign recruits from clubs like Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua will be to the detriment of local talent who are denied first-team opportunities but Conca insisted their arrival would boost the standard.
"Chinese football is growing. The Chinese league has developed a very healthy momentum over the years, especially this season," Conca said.
"With more investment and imports of more international star players, the level of the Chinese league has improved a lot. And I would like to bring more players from South America to China."
Conca also said he believed he'd played a part in convincing Barrios to join Evergrande from Borussia Dortmund recently.
"Before he came, I told him a lot about China - the city and the team. I wanted him to know more about how soccer is developing in China. And I think it may have helped him make the decision to play in China," Conca said.
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