Mooy defends move to China ahead of clash with Iniesta

Aaron Mooy (left) of Shanghai SIPG and Andres Iniesta (right) of Vissel Kobe Source: Getty Images

Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy has defended his move to swap the English Premier League for the Chinese Super League.

Mooy says the lure of a new adventure is what made him agree to join Chinese side Shanghai SIPG from Brighton & Hove Albion in late August of this year. 

"I decided to leave England because I wanted to try something new," Mooy told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"I am 30 years old and you don’t get to play football forever. I feel lucky to be given this opportunity by Shanghai as it is a big club in Asia.

Mooy will likely be up against one of the greatest ever midfielders in Andres Iniesta on Monday night when Shanghai take on J-League side Vissel Kobe in the Asian Champions League round of 16 at 9pm (AEDT). 

Shanghai showed signs of weakness in their group stage matches against A-League side Sydney FC, with Mooy playing a pivotal role in helping the Chinese side come from behind and win the first match 2-1. 

The second meeting between Sydney and Shanghai was effectively a dead-rubber, however, SIPG fans will not be happy with the 4-0 loss in which Mooy played 65 minutes. 

Mooy defended the level of the Chinese Super League in comparison to the Premier League.

"The football is different to England but it is a very high level in China. The Chinese league is growing all the time, the owners of the teams invest a lot of care, they want to win and this makes the league very competitive.

"It's difficult circumstances around the world, I know the match schedule is very tough for us, but we will fight to give the best for our club and our fans, and hopefully we do well."

Source SBS The World Game