(Beijing, CHN) - The arrival of China's most expensive footballer, Argentinian Dario Conca, is the first step towards a world championship for the club that signed him, its chairman has said.
Liu Yongzhuo told reporters the hiring was "just the beginning" for his Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, which paid a record $10 million transfer fee for the 28-year-old midfielder.
"We will continue to look to the overseas market if we can identify the right targets," Liu said as he unveiled the former captain of the Brazilian club Fluminense to the Chinese press on Tuesday.
"Our purpose of introducing foreign players is to lift the competitiveness of our team and reach our targets, which include winning the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Champions League within five years.
"We also want to claim the FIFA Club World Championship. If we can't win the titles, then we will continue to buy more foreign players who play at a high level."
Guangzhou were relegated two years ago due to a match-fixing scandal but advanced to the Super League this season, spending a reported $18 million on transfers ahead of Conca's signing.
The club is owned by the Evergrande Real Estate Group, one of China's top real estate companies, and whose owner Xu Jiayin is reportedly one of China's richest tycoons.
Conca signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Chinese Super League leaders in a deal worth about $7 million a year after taxes, making him the most expensive player ever in China, according to local media.
Voted player of the season in Brazil in 2010, he will play alongside some of China's top players as well as several Brazilian imports.
"I know I have joined a club with a big vision," said the player, who scored 40 goals in a three and a half year stint with Fluminense.
"Many outstanding Brazilian players have joined the league and have promoted its image... I will try to adapt to the life here as soon as possible and score more goals for the club."
Evergrande are unbeaten this season and lead the 16-team league with 37 points after 15 matches. Second-placed Beijing Guo'an are seven points behind.
It was not immediately clear if the midfielder would start in Guangzhou's Thursday night match against Nanchang Hengyuan, but the media, which watched him train on Tuesday, said he would likely play.
"I expect a lot from Conca. No matter which position he will play, the most crucial thing for him is to make himself a part of the team," Evergrande's South Korean coach Lee Jang-Soo told reporters.
"He also needs to prove his form before we give him the chance to start."