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Davi and Co.: Let them go

16 Jul 2009(Thu)

July 15, 2009: So the J.League is losing another Brazilian goal scorer to the Gulf, with Davi leaving Nagoya for Umm Salal in Qatar.

But does this mean the J.League is losing its appeal or its reputation as the top professional league in Asia?

In my opinion, not at all, and if players such as Emerson, Bare and Davi want to swap the attractions and lifestyle of Japan for the money of the Gulf, let them go.

There are plenty more Brazilians around who can fill their boots, and the last thing I would want to see is Japanese clubs being held to ransom by the agents of the players demanding more and more money to reject the tax-free offers of the Gulf.

No, if money is their only concern, which it clearly is in these deals, the Japanese clubs should accept this and hold out for as big a transfer fee as possible.

Japan has given them a stage on which to display their talents, and if this leads to a mega-salary in the Gulf that will set them -- and their family's families -- up for life, then good luck to them.

But Japan should not mourn their departure, as it creates openings for new talent to join the J.League.

I am sure Davi knows what he is letting himself in for by leaving Grampus for Umm Salal, and becoming another faceless Brazilian in a faceless league.

Compared to the crowds and the colour of the J.League, Gulf football is at a completely different level.

Having spent a considerable amount of time early this year in the Middle East, in Kuwait and Bahrain, and watched matches on TV, the most striking aspect of these leagues is that there is nobody there.

The fans must number in the hundreds, not thousands, and are usually to be found in the main stand.

So when the cameras sweep around the ground, behind the goals and down the back stand, it looks deserted, silent, and almost like a training match; except for the fact the foreign players are earning millions.

As a spectacle, as a challenge, as a career move...it cannot compare with Japan, so let them go and turn over a new page.


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