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China Daily Website

The future of soccer in china

Updated: 2012-04-19 08:06
By Qiu Quanlin ( China Daily)

The future of soccer in china

A drawing of Guangzhou Evergrande's soccer academy, which is set to open in September.

Xu Jiayin doesn't just want to defend the domestic league championship.

He also hopes the club's junior players can claim at least four titles within three years, after the club opens a soccer school in September.

"We have a consistent principal - to be the best in the field we are engaged in," Xu said.

The chairman of Guangzhou Evergrande, which has drawn worldwide attention since the Guangzhou-based real estate giant took over the club in March 2010, will open a cooperative soccer school in September.

"Students in the school will not only receive training, but also academic education as we have introduced a leading Chinese university as a partner in providing educational resources from primary to higher education," Xu said.

"The ultimate goal is to develop real Chinese soccer talents within the next few years."

After three years of training and studying, students will be eligible to play in domestic and Asian U13 competitions, both in the male and female groups.

"We hope that both girls and boys can win the domestic U13 titles and then represent China to compete in the Asian stage," Xu said.

Xu made the remarks after a ceremony on Wednesday marking the recruitment of students for the school, a cooperative project with Spanish giant Real Madrid.

The school, located in the mountainous city of Qingyuan in Guangdong province, will recruit some 3,150 students aged 7 to 11 years old in its initial phase beginning Sept 1.

The recruitment will target some 45 million primary school students in 24 provinces, autonomous regions and three municipalities across the country.

The Guangzhou club reached an agreement with Real Madrid during the Spanish club's tour of China last year, finalizing it in March.

Real Madrid will send at least 15 coaches to the school by September, and more assistants will be selected in China, Xu said.

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