Rio de Janeiro, Sep 23 (IANS) Brazil international midfielder Renato Augusto has lavished praise on Chinese football, saying that his decision to move to Beijing Guoan has helped him flourish on both a professional and a personal level.
Augusto has been one of the most consistent performers in the Chinese Super League since his arrival in Beijing in January 2016 from Brazilian giants Corinthians, reports Xinhua news agency.
He has been rewarded by becoming a mainstay in Brazil’s first-choice team under coach Tite and, barring injury, the 29-year-old is guaranteed a place in his country’s squad at next year’s World Cup in Russia.
“There are some things in life that you cannot say no to,” Augusto told Brazil’s Globo newspaper of his decision to join Beijing Guoan.
“The financial offer was great, however a lot of people said that if I came to China I would lose my place in the Brazil team. But I prepared myself to work as hard as I could and strive to play at a high level so that I could continue my international career.”
Despite the cultural differences between Beijing and his home city of Rio de Janeiro, Augusto said that he adapted swiftly to life in the Chinese capital.
He says he is enjoying Beijing’s culinary offerings and the ability to get around the city on his bike.
“Beijing is an incredible city,” he said.
“You have every possible chance to have fun and live well. You can find the highest quality restaurants of several nationalities: Italian, Thai, steakhouses… And I live two minutes from the club’s home, so I don’t have to worry about traffic. Because I live so close to the stadium, I don’t even need a car. I’m in a new phase in my life and it’s making me a better person. I’m growing on and off the field.”
As for the quality of the Chinese Super League, Augusto said it now deserved to be ranked among the strongest national competitions in the world.
In addition to having attracted established global stars such as Oscar, Carlos Tevez, Hulk, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Ramires and Jackson Martinez, China also boasts world class stadiums and training facilities, according to Augusto.
“When I arrived, they (Beijing Guoan officials) called me and asked me what I needed at the club and how I thought it could improve. I gave them a list of recommendations and they started making changes. They improved the locker room, the gym. The club has grown a lot since I first came here. Chinese football is developing quickly. More and more top players are coming.”
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