Corinthians: Revolutionary Chen Zhizhao Signing Can Improve World Football

Yoosof Farah@@YoosofFarahSenior Writer IIIMarch 1, 2012

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of

Chen Zhizhao could help improve world football as a whole, becoming the first Chinese player to sign for a South American side with his transfer to Corinthians, Brazil's most popular club.

The player, now known as "Zizao" by Brazilian fans and media, has signed on a two-season loan deal which runs out in December 2013.

Apparently, the idea to sign the player came from the club's marketing department, who are looking to boost the club's global brand.

It's a signing which may very well strengthen the sport worldwide, being something of a revolutionary transfer.

In today's global economic downturn and times of universal austerity measures—which is affecting football—clubs are looking for new ways to recruit players and raise revenue.

As they do that, they're turning to new markets, and exploring undiscovered avenues.

In Brazil's Serie A, there are only 38 foreign players among the 20 teams in the top-flight, the vast majority of whom are South American.

So with Corinthians signing a Chinese player, not only does that make them a more unique team across Brazil and South America, but it also makes them something of a global phenomenon, and suddenly a point of interest in the world's fastest growing economy.

In essence, their boldness in seeking a new market for transfers has put more attention on the club and made them more known internationally.

Therefore, they've become a more attractive outfit for sponsors and investors, with potential profits to be had in a very lucrative new market.

It's a signing that could well be more than worth its weight in gold.

And having sourced out new revenue streams, it could make Corinthians a lot more secure financially.

If the player does well and is a success in Brazil, the club would also have a greater chance to secure the pick of the talent from that area due to their past foray into that market.

So it's clearly an attractive option for a club to make—and others will surely catch onto that. 

If Chen Zhizhao is successful for Corinthians—fairly likely given his ability to stretch the play, a problem for the Serie A side last season, and his versatility—more Chinese and Asian players will also be encouraged to seek South America as an alternative to trying to secure a move to Europe.

Even if he isn't, they could still be encouraged to make the switch, given he'll be earning a very good salary.

That'll mean more players will no doubt leave the region for foreign clubs in places like South America, and will have a greater chance to develop their game.

The more players who move from poor footballing nations to strong ones, the better for football, as the universal standard in the professional game will increase.

And, of course, the more clubs who sign players from new countries, the higher their global brand equity will be, which means they'll be stronger financially—allowing for more possibility to invest in the grassroots of the game.

It's all speculation at the moment, but Zizao's transfer to Corinthians is a revolutionary step in world football, with international dealings from clubs in two of the most unlikeliest countries opening up new football markets, and creating the potential for more such transactions to take place.

Whether or not Chen Zhizhao is a success in Brazil, one crucial thing—which will make clubs across world football take note—is clear: The possibilities from this transfer are endless.