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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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“Old Folks” Hobbies That Are Fun For Everyone

When you think back to visits at your grandparents’ house or even your elderly neighbors down the street, you may have thought that older people were boring. Think again about some of their favorite hobbies, they might be kind of fun now, right?

Here are some things that are often viewed as “old people” things but are fun for anyone; your grandparents were probably a lot cooler than you give them credit:

Knitting, Crocheting, and Needlepoint

These hobbies have been trendy for awhile, but for decades they seemed to be solely reserved for older women. Today, you can visit an Etsy store or Pinterest and find thousands of items and images of knitting projects or needlepoint designs with bold statements (i.e. swear words).

Depending on where you live, your local breweries or bars may even host a knitting event where you can learn how to knit and drink a pint of craft beer. Don’t drink alcohol, if you stop by any independent coffee shop you’re likely to run into at least one person with a pair of knitting needles.

B-I-N-G-O

When was the last time you played Bingo? In grade school or with your grandma? Bingo is a popular game with the over 50 crowd but it’s fun for everyone. Learning how to play bingo is one of the easiest, but fun, games to play.

Grab your lucky dauber and hit the nearest Bingo game with your friends. Don’t have a Bingo Hall nearby? You can always try your luck online.

Other games to check out are Bridge and other card games.

Going to Auctions and Estate Sales

Auctions and estate sales seem to draw crowds of older folks. Maybe it’s the nostalgia, or maybe it’s just finding something for a great price. If you’ve never gone to an auction or an estate sale, it’s time you check one out.

If you appreciate vintage stuff and have an eclectic style, you can find some real treasures for a low price. Some people have turned their auction and estate sale hobby into a side business by restoring or reselling items online.

Pickleball

If you head to a retirement community, you may see some residents playing pickleball. What’s pickleball? It combines tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and can be played inside or outdoors. Next time you see someone playing, stop and ask for a quick tutorial.

Having Coffee With Friends

With technology taking over our lives, the art of a face to face conversation seems to be dying. If you stop at a diner or even a coffee shop, you’re likely to see a group of older people sitting around and talking. You don’t see anyone on their phone the whole time; you just see that they are sitting, drinking coffee, and having a good time chatting.

The concept of a simple “hangout” is so simple, but many people of other generations fail to do it or see the fun of sitting around without a smartphone. Give it a try; you might make it a daily habit.

What Part Of Marijuana Is Responsible For The Drug’s Psychoactive Effects?

Marijuana refers to the leaves of the Cannabis sativa plant and other closely related plants when smoked or ingested. The chemical in cannabis plants that causes psychoactive effects (mood changes or a “high”) is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is one of more than 60 cannabinoids in cannabis plants. Strains of medical cannabis are bred to have less THC and more of other cannabinoids. This way, the plant and its derivatives will be effective against symptoms such as pain or anxiety without causing mental impairment.

Now You Can Order Medical Cannabis Online

A better understanding of the cannabinoids in C. sativa and its relatives has led to more permissive laws about cannabis. The legal medical and recreational cannabis industry has allowed the cannabis delivery business to thrive in states where it is legal. Before you order marijuana delivery near me, you should know a little more about THC and its effects.

Medical and Recreational Uses of THC

While THC has a reputation for being the component of marijuana that causes a high, it also has medical uses. Anyone who has ever had the munchies knows that THC is a very effective appetite stimulant. THC was first isolated for medicinal use in 1964. Soon after, it began to be sold as a prescription drug called Marinol. It is still prescribed for patients with chronic nausea or loss of appetite. People with cancer and HIV make up the biggest groups of patients who are prescribed Marinol.

Besides the munchies, THC is responsible for the psychedelic effects of cannabis. It is what makes you see bright colors when you close your eyes and listen to Pink Floyd.

THC is the compound in cannabis that makes you feel high. It is one of many cannabis compounds that can be isolated for medicinal use.