Sports / China

Young soccer players train in Spain

( Updated: 2012-08-27 17:18

Wanda Group announced on Monday that 30 male soccer players aged around 13 will set out for Spain, to complete a three-year training course at three of the best clubs in the Spain Primera Division, Valencia CF, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal CF.

The Chinese Football Association, who closely collaborated with Wanda Group, have dispatched nearly 100 teenage players to soccer powerhouses like Europe and South America for training over the past two years, under the fully initiated "Teenage Players Oversea Study Project" .

"Spain won both the World Cup and the European Championship. The main reason is they have a very strong and solid base of teenage training. We should learn from their experience," said Wei Di, China Football Association vice-president.

According to Wei, children around 13 have the best elasticity, so Wanda Group decided to sponsor these children to realize their soccer dreams. "This is the first time that we will send a large number of young players to these top soccer clubs. I am looking forward to the results," Wei said.

A representative from Wanda Group promised the parents that, besides soccer practice, they will supervise the children's schooling in accordance with Spanish standards. "Study time for school subjects will be no less than that for professional soccer classes... If some children cannot edge into the top leagues of professional soccer, they will not be useless later due to a lack of knowledge in society."

Cai Zhenhua, deputy director of the General Administration of Sport of China, also participated in the "farewell meeting". He has been in total support of sending young players for overseas studies.

"We have a very weak base. Teenage soccer players remain few in Chinese society. Therefore, the central task for the Chinese Football Association in the coming years is to expand the volume of teenage soccer sportsmen quickly," Wei said.

"Sending players overseas for the most professional training is only a supplementary measure. The establishment of a well-functioning teenage training system also asks for the domestic promotion of soccer summer camps and campus soccer activities."

Although the expedition of the young players is not enough to guarantee China a qualifier ticket to the final rounds of World Cup in the coming years, experts still hope that the Chinese Football Association will have some results.

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