Fresh off Asian Cup success with Australia, Socceroos star Tim Cahill has announced he has signed a deal to play with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
Speculation had been rife in recent days regarding the future of arguably Australia’s greatest ever player, with offers from UAE, Qatar and England all speculated following the announcement of his departure from Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls where he spent the last three seasons.
“I’m proud to announce my next deal with Shanghai Shenhua,” Cahill said in his Tuesday-morning announcement on Australia’s Fox Sports.
“China is a growing market in football. I’m at an age where I want to give back to football.
“I’ve taken a lot of good advice from very powerful men. I think it’s exciting. To be in demand and have these offers is special.”
Shanghai Greenland Shenhua were founded in 1951, but only have one domestic league title to their name from the 1995 season. While they won the 2003 campaign, they were later stripped of that title after becoming embroiled in the match fixing scandal that swept across China.
Shenhua shot to global prominence in 2012 when they signed international stars Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba. However the duo quickly departed when an ownership dispute saw owner Zhu Jun pull his funding and the club went into a state of freefall.
One of the largest real estate developers in China, Greenland Group, came to their rescue at the start of 2014 buying the club outright and changing the club’s name to Shanghai Greenland, which caused mass protests from the club’s loyal fans who were adament that “Shenhua” must remain in the name.
The club eventually relented, and settled on Shanghai Greenland Shenhua as the team’s name.
They are currently coached by former Bordeaux coach Francis Gillot and boast Colombian international Giovanni Moreno and Greek international Avraam Papadopoulos on their books.