Monday, June 25, 2012

Didier Drogba enters the heart of the dragon; Will also star for China's Olympic basketball team

The rivalry between the U.S. and China has just transcended mere economics. With Didier Drogba’s decision to join the unpronounceable Shanghai Shenhua (and if we can’t say it, imagine the big Ivorian’s problems), the struggle to promote MLS soccer has just suffered a major blow. Since David Beckham’s move to the L.A. Galaxy, the MLS has become a haven for washed out European footballers. Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, and Rafael Márquez all took this trans-Atlantic trip to the states. So how big of a threat is the Chinese Super League to the growing MLS? Considering the quality of the Chinese competition, I’d say not big at all. The world’s most entertaining players—Messi, Andrea Pirlo, Xavi—are all marked by a gene of creativity, and under an authoritarian government like that of the People’s Republic of China (let’s be official) creativity is simply not characterized as a virtue. Drogba may join his buddy Nicolas Anelka at the heart of the dragon, but I doubt many European players will follow suit. 

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