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Yakubu defends Chinese Super League

Guangzhou R&F striker Yakubu has insisted that the Chinese Super League deserves to be taken seriously and again denied that he moved east because of the lucrative wages on offer.

Yakubu, 29, left Blackburn Rovers for Guangzhou R&F in June, scoring nine goals in 14 appearances as the club finished seventh in the table in his debut season.

The Nigeria striker, much like fellow China-based stars Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, has been accused of joining the country's football revolution for financial gain rather than a sporting challenge - but he has rejected such claims.

"I've only been there six months, but it's more like a year," Yakubu told BBC Sport. "People are quick to disrespect the Chinese league, but when you get involved you'll find out the football is really good.

"You can't compare it with England, but the Chinese players love to pass the ball around and things are getting better there.

"I played in England for more than 10 years and had nothing to prove to anyone. If people say I went to China to make money, then it's up to them.

"I love playing football, and I think the time was right to move to a different place. For me, the chance to help develop the league is a great honour. Hopefully, I can win something with the club next season."

Yakubu did, however, admit that he still pines for English football at times, saying: "Of course, I'm going to miss England - I lived there for more than ten years. Leaving was a little bit difficult, but I think I made the right decision.

"I still watch the Premier League games on television, so it's not like I'm crying to go back to English football. I had the best time of my life there, but it was time to move on in another direction."

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