Sports / China

Timo Boll's advice for Chinese football

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-04-14 13:36

Xinhua: "Who won?"

Boll: (laughing) "You could see the guys all had an eye for a ball - no matter what size."

Xinhua: You yourself had a brilliant football career?

Boll: "I wouldn't call it a career and it was far from being brilliant - first of all, because it was too short. I was a striker in the U-9s and U-11s at a little club called TSV 1875 Hoechst."

Xinhua: Did you score a goal?

Boll: "Not only one, there were several goals; in one year I was the top-scorer. But in the end, it was the best decision to stick to table tennis."

Xinhua: You are German, but spend a lot of time in China. Do you see any similarities regarding the people?

Boll: "The Chinese are in many ways similar to the Germans. They are hard-working and success-orientated - and meanwhile they have various opportunities to build their working lives. The people are very focused on furthering themselves, they open themselves up and get on. The speed of developments in China is extraordinary and I'm sure you will soon see that in football too. When I came to China for the first time in 1997, I saw how hard the people work. I did not hear many complaining about the circumstances but I saw many with an open mind doing the best they could - and that was something hugely impressive for me."

Xinhua: Is there anything which you would regard as being exceptionally important in your sports career? Something you would say is important for both table-tennis and football?

Boll: "That's hard to say and maybe something very specific for each and every athlete. So I can only speak for myself. Fair play is something which is indispensable - I would never want to win a game if the victory was not truly mine. I think that is something which relevant for every sport."

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