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Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi was presented with the enviable scenario of earning £798,000 per week when he became the world’s highest-earning footballer in February 2016. But he wasn’t signing for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, or one of the other giants of the so-called beautiful game – rather for the appropriately-named Hebei China Fortune.
Embarrassingly, Lavezzi completed his first season in the Chinese Super League (CSL), which runs from March to November, having scored precisely zero goals, in a campaign during which his participation was restricted to 10 games after he fractured his arm on international duty.