Video Evidence: Who is Dario Conca & how has he become the third best paid footballer on the planet?
Lionel Messi. Cristiano Ronaldo. And Dario Conca. What the hell?
Football fans across the planet are scratching their heads this Sunday to understand how a 28-year-old Argentine attacking midfielder that most outside of South America will never have heard of, has managed to catapult himself into becoming the third best paid footballer in the history of the game.
Known domestically as “the Chinese Chelsea,” Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande have completed a 10 million euros transfer for Conca from Fluminense. The terms of the deal are staggering as the forward will receive an incredible €26.5 million over two and a half years during his stay at the club.
Whilst many may never have heard of Conca, his talents are well-known in his South America. Voted player of the season in Brazil in both 2009 and 2010, Conca has played for River Plate (briefly), Universidad Catolica, Rosario Central, Vasco da Gama and then Flu.
A reason why Conca remains so unknown in a global sense, however, comes from the fact that he never managed to make the breakthrough in the international arena. Uncapped by Argentina, Conca has often been on the fringes of a national team call-up without every actually receiving the nod.
One reason for his international snub appears to be anchored in his goalscoring record. Despite being blessed with a wonderful leg-peg and an ability to beat opposition players with ease, Conca has always struggled to score a serious amount of goals consistently. Never has Conca managed to tally double-figures in any one campaign, with his best return being nine goals during the 2010 Campeonato Brasileiro season.
Nevertheless, it must be recognised that Conca is not a forward. Wearing the number 11 short for Flu, Conca has become a formidable playmaker in the centre of the pitch, who is best known for his dribbling skills and general creative awareness.
That said, Guangzhou appear to have paid over-the-odds for Conca. Whilst clearly a talented footballer, the fact that his pay-packet will now eclipse the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Tevez, Neymar, Aguero etc. and so on, seems ridiculous. The deal stinks more of a publicity stunt than a decision based-purely on footballing concerns.
Then again, Guangzhou, who already have a seven point lead on top of the Chinese top flight, will no-doubt have wrapped up this season’s championship with the Conca deal. Next up, Guangzhou will be looking to establish themselves as the best team in Asia.