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Why So Many Big-Name Soccer Players Are Going to China

Association football (better known as soccer) is, in case you didn’t already know, the world’s most loved sport. In fact, it’s played by 250 million players in over 200 countries around the globe. For centuries, the game has been especially popular across Europe and the Southern Continents of America; more recently, its popularity has been growing exponentially in the United States and China.

In fact, the latter countries sudden interest in the sport is partly thanks to a government initiative (the Chinese government—more specifically, president Xi Jinping’s government—wants China to become a soccer superpower by 2050). Now, many of the most recognizable names in the world are heading there to begin the next stage of their careers; but what is it that attracts names like Carlos Tevez and Alexandre Pato to a country whose level of playing is arguably still in its infancy?

Money

Well, you guessed it. The first big reason is money. Despite the English Premier League offering some pretty substantial monetary compensation (the EPL has an average salary of somewhere around two and a half million pounds, which converts to well over three million dollars), they can’t offer anywhere near the kind of payment that Chinese clubs are dishing out.

In fact, some of the biggest deals being made between the country’s clubs and foreign players are enough to make grown men weep. Carlos Tevez, who famously had a fantastic run at Manchester United, announced back in December 2016 that he would be making the move to Shaingai Shensua this year. He won’t be short of cash in Shanghai, though, because he’ll be earning around £615,000 each week (that’s $779,000, by the way). It’s thought that his time at Shensua will be the last before he retires, and so it makes sense that he does what makes financial sense for himself.

On the other hand, Brazilian football player Oscar also made the switch to China back at the beginning of the year. Being the once much-hyped wonderkid of Chelsea FC, fans felt somewhat underwhelmed by his performance. He managed to score 38 goals in 203 appearances, but parted with the club mutually and in December last year after they received an offer from Shanghai SIPG.

Oscar is quite a unique case in that – unlike most other big names making the switch to China – he is still only 25 and, relatively speaking, in his prime. However, the club paid £60 million for him, and he is expected to take home somewhere around £350,000 per week.

Little Troubles in Big China

It’s not all honey and milk in the Far East, though. One of the big name transfers was Didier Drogba, the Chelsea star who had a fantastic run at the club before signing to Shenhua (Tevez’s new club) for £200,000 per week. It wouldn’t last long, though, as he would make the move to the Turkish Side, Galatasaray, six months later. It’s easy to think that money like that would keep anyone loyal, but Drogba experienced several challenges while playing for Shenua.

The most notable among them, of course, is trying to drag a mediocre team in a mediocre league up the table. Despite his obvious professionalism and enthusiasm, internal conflict between Zhu Jun (the Chinese multimillionaire who owned 28.5% of the club) and the team’s other owners – partly caused by the size of Drogba’s wages – meant that the Ivorian legend had no other choice but to make the switch to somewhere closer to home.

Magic Money Trees

Because Chinese is a booming economy, there’s a lot of money changing hands among the business elites . However, you may (quite rightly) be wondering how that money ends up being funneled into the Chinese Super League. Corporations around the country are bankrolling the teams with almost unimaginable sums of cash, but why?

While investing in soccer might be a sound investment, there is another somewhat more nefarious reason for businessmen to put their dollars into the sport: government kickbacks. In fact, each of the sixteen Super League teams are owned by separate businesses. It’s thought that—because the government has already been explicitly clear about their initiatives and desire for the sport to grow in the country—businessmen are parting with their cash because it’s a way to appease those in power.

As the value of the league continues to grow, so do rumors of corruption. Players, team officials, and even referees have been caught up in scandals over the years. Many were banned for life, and others were sentenced to jail. In fact, several betting companies refuse to take bets on the league, owing to the ostensible endemic running throughout the sport right now.

Chinese Soccer presents a huge prospect, especially given their obvious dedication to improving as a collective whole for the betterment of their home country. However, it’s still a long way off from matching the level of the sport seen elsewhere in the world. In any case, you can be sure that these big-name signings will continue to happen, so long as the money keeps flowing in like it already has done.

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Improve Your Health Using Technology: Here’s How

Improving your health using technology focuses on areas where technology, diet, and nutrition have a direct influence on the health and wellbeing of an individual. Oftentimes, we feel that improving our overall health takes a long time, but it’s really a matter of making small changes in our everyday habits. 

A lot of researches have shown the impact that technology can have on individuals wellbeing and health. With information right at our fingertips, we can all do something to improve our quality of life by simply making smarter decisions about what we eat and how much activity we are getting. Here are some vital tips:

Register with a private GP online

Patients can ask questions to speak to a GP online in the privacy of their own place and at their own time. This is extremely useful for those who are too ill to be able to make it out to their local surgery or for those who don’t have the time take a trip to the doctor in person unless absolutely necessary.

Use fitness and nutrition tracker

The importance of fitness and nutrition tracking technology in improving your health is the ability to have devices that will make it easier to understand what you’re eating and their nutritional value. This way, you can track how much you’ve consumed and nutrition you’re getting, plus your heart rate, your blood pressure, and even your sleep cycle. 

With this technology, you will be able to see the progress you make over a period of time and know exactly how to approach things to step by step to improve your overall health.

Utilise preventative healthcare

Preventative healthcare is the second most effective way to improve your health. Preventative healthcare helps to prevent illness and detects medical issues early enough so they can be treated before they become serious conditions. Remember, the point of using technology to improve your health is to assist you in being proactive towards your health. 

Get yourself a wearable device 

Wearable technology is a new and innovative way of presenting information, allowing you to obtain real-time feedback on everything from your heart rate to your physical activities.

A wearable device can continuously monitor your vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, etc., and sync this data with a smartphone or other mobile devices using Bluetooth technology. Wearable technology with proper applications will assist you in keeping healthy and fit.

Register for Online Personal Training

Online personal training can help you improve your health in ways you never thought possible, leveraging technology. An online programme lets you achieve healthy living while staying in the comfort and convenience of your home, making it much more efficient than traditional programmes. 

No matter why you want to improve your health and wellbeing, technology is a key part of health in today’s society. This article has outlined some of the many ways this can be of great benefit to you.

Alcoholic Answers: How Long After You Stop Drinking Beer Does Your Body Heal?

If you could stop drinking beer for a while and reset, how long would it take your body to heal?

Many people who drink have wondered about this topic, especially when finding their drinking habits slipping beyond their control. We know about the harm alcohol can do to the body, but this often isn’t enough willpower to fuel a cold-turkey reboot, even though our bodies would thank us for it.

Here are the facts: Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) affects over 14 million adults in the U.S. alone. Knowing this, it’s safe to assume that quitting is an incredible challenge, but a worthwhile endeavor nonetheless.

Keep reading to learn more about what happens to the body when you stop drinking beer.

What to Expect When You Stop Drinking Beer

Whether you’re a recovering alcoholic or just a semi-regular beer drinker, you might notice some significant changes in your body as well as your mood when you stop drinking beer. Depending on your previous intake, these will vary in levels of intensity.

1-14 Days After Quitting

The first two weeks after you stop drinking beer are said to be the most difficult. This is because the body begins going through an acute withdrawal phase, with symptoms that might make you want to abandon your sobriety goals.

Here are some common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal:

  • Insomnia and/or trouble sleeping through the night
  • Problems with sexual function and performance
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety/nervousness
  • Depression
  • Intense cravings

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can start within 6 hours of having your last drink. They might also last well beyond 14 days. Again, this depends on how much you were drinking before, and your individual body’s ability to heal.

30+ Days After Quitting

Once you’ve passed the first two weeks when you stop drinking beer, the positive changes start to take effect. Your body completes the initial detoxification stage and begins to heal.

You can expect the following effects:

  • Steady reversal of liver damage
  • Decreased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease
  • Improved cognitive abilities
  • Weight loss

The good news is this: many of the negative effects of drinking are reversible. Once you can stop drinking beer, your body is able to heal itself.

Will I Lose Weight if I Stop Drinking Beer?

When compared to hard liquor, beer has a higher tendency to affect your body weight. This is due to it generally being a more calorie-packed drink than most hard liquors.

With that in mind, the short answer here is yes, you will lose weight when you stop drinking beer. However, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet with a moderate calorie intake, as well as get plenty of exercise. If you replace those excess calories by eating more, for example, then you may not experience any weight loss at all.

Knowing When to Quit

The pleasures of drinking beer are undeniable, but too much of a good thing can be harmful. It’s important to evaluate the role of beer in your life and how it has affected your health. Now that you know more about what to expect when you stop drinking beer, quitting can be that much easier.

For more health and fitness topics, please see our other articles.