Amid the massive uproar that several shocking moves caused over the winter in the international soccer market, here’s a list of some of the most renowned African players that have recently made it to China – along with a reminder that these players are indeed NOT pioneers in China’s soccerscapes.
Mbia completed a move to Hebei China Fortune for a fee estimated at around £7m
List of current African players in the Chinese Super League
- Stéphane Mbia (2016– Hebei China Fortune) Cameroon
- Assani Lukimya (2016– Liaoning Whowin) Congo
- Davy Claude Angan (2013– Hangzhou Greentown) Cote D’Ivoire
- Jean Evrard Kouassi (2015– Shanghai SIPG) Cote D’Ivoire
- Gervinho (2016– Hebei China Fortune) Cote D’Ivoire
- Bubacarr Trawally (2016– Yanbian Funde) Gambia
- Asamoah Gyan (2015– Shanghai SIPG) Ghana
- Zainadine Júnior (2016– Tainjin Teda) Mozambique
- Obafemi Martins (2016– Shanghai Greenland Shenhua) Nigeria
- Demba Ba (2015– Shanghai Greenland Shenhua) Senegal
- Ibrahima Touré (2016– Liaoning Whowin) Senegal
- Mbaye Diagne (2016– Tianjin Teda) Senegal
- Jacob Mulenga (2015– Shijiazhuang Ever Bright) Zambia
- James Chamanga (2008–2012 Dalian Shide, 2013– Liaoning Whowin) Zambia
In 2015, Asamoah Gyan completed a move to Shanghai SIPG for an undisclosed (massive) fee
According to the Mail Online, out of the 2016 top 10 players in the Chinese Super League, 9 are ‘black’ and 5 hail from countries in Africa.
Notwithstanding all the novelty of Chinese sides acquiring great players, African soccer players in China are indeed nothing new. For decades now, Africans from all over the continent (and all walks of life) have played in the country, albeit at an amateur level. The history of ‘Afrika United‘, a Pan-African soccer team in Beijing, is evidence of the evolving ‘African’ (and international) grassroots soccerscapes in China. Have a look at the media report below and, if interested, you can also watch this documentary, read this academic article, or listen to this podcast.