Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

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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Can You Predict Ovulation?

If you’re trying to get pregnant, then this question has to be at the forefront of your mind. You can only conceive during your ‘fertile window’ – a period of a few days in each cycle anchored in place by when you ovulate.

For conception to occur, active sperm have to encounter a fertile egg (usually in the fallopian tubes, sometimes in the uterus), which means that you opportunity to get pregnant each month is dictated by how long both sperm and egg can survive! As healthy sperm can survive in the body for four to five days, and an egg remains fertile for between twelve and twenty four hours, this gives you a period of four to five days in each menstrual cycle when you can get pregnant.

Predicting this window of time is really important, especially if you have a plan for the ideal time you want to get pregnant and give birth. It’s absolutely vital if you’re trying to counter the fertility effects of conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, which makes ovulation rarer and less regular – identifying and anticipating that key moment is the key tool you have available to help you get pregnant.

Is there an answer, though? Plenty of products promise to be an ovulation predictor but do they work?

Ovulation Calculators

These are perhaps the most convenient, lowest effort solution available, which makes them inherently attractive to some. All you need to do is enter the date your last period started, and the length of your menstrual cycle, and it can place where you are in yours, and tell you when you’re due to menstruate.

These work well – for women with extremely regular cycles. If yours works like clockwork every month, this is a good option, but even then tools like this simply can’t pick up health issues that might cause a disruption to your cycle.

Ovulation Predictor Kits

Known as OPKs, these kits work like pregnancy test: they check your urine for a spike in a particular hormone, the Luteinising Hormone that prompts your ovaries to release an egg, in this case. If the test detects you’re experiencing a surge in this hormone it tells you’re ovulating!

The weakness of these tests is that they’re not good at picking up results if you have a disrupted hormonal background – if you have a naturally low surge of LH it may never pick it up even if you ovulate regularly!

Basal Body Temperature

This is one of the best measures, with real predictive power: your basal body temperature (the minimum it sinks to while you sleep) responds to your menstrual cycle, so taking your temperature with an accurate digital thermometer can predict when you’re due to be at your most fertile.

It can be hard work to get good readings, but with specialised products available to take some of the pain out of taking readings and turning data into predictions, it’s the best option for the majority of people!

Could You Be the Next Crime Victim?

Being a victim of crime is something no one wants to be a part of.

That said are you doing everything within your power to lower the chances of being the next victim? If you are not, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.

With that in mind, what steps can you take to steer clear of being a crime victim?

Don’t Think It Can’t Happen to You

In your quest to steer clear of ending up a victim, your first step should be to understand that it can happen to anyone.

That said you want to avoid having the notion that you are immune to it. Even when you think you’ve taken all the right steps to avoid crime, it can still surprise you.

Among some of the crimes and how you can avoid them:

1. Identity theft – One of the more troublesome crimes, identity theft can strike at any time. With that being the case, you want to have an identity protection plan backing you up. Whether you look into LifeLock identity protection service or another brand, protect yourself. Such coverage will alert you to any red flags as you look to protect your finances. The most notable is someone without authority has tried to access your finances. Remember, one successful identity theft caper can have dire consequences for your finances.

2. Property theft – No matter the items involved, property theft is another crime you want to be aware of. With that in mind, you should make sure all your property has protection at all times. An example of this would be your vehicle. Are you someone who leaves their vehicle unlocked all or most of the times? If so, you are asking for trouble. Even if you lock your car or truck on a regular basis, do not leave valuables in it. Items like laptops, phones and significant money should never be in your vehicle. If you need to leave something of value in your vehicle for only a brief period of time, lock it in the trunk. At least this way it is out of the public view should someone come upon your vehicle.

3. Home invasion – Another crime to stay on top of would be a homeinvasion. In such a scenario, a criminal would break into your home whether you are there or not at the time. If you are, things could be even worse. To best protect your home, having a security system in place is a good start. If you do not have one now, go online and see which companies offer the best systems. You can check with friends to see which home security systems they recommend. Even with a security system in place, use some commonsense too. This means not leaving doors unlocked to start with. If you are going to be away for any extended period of time, be sure to have your mail/newspapers picked up. Also make sure your grass is trimmed and any snow is shoveled. Never give off signs that your home is sitting there without you around.

In your efforts to avoid being a crime victim, will you come out on top?