Is there hope for Chinese football?
(File Photo)

Training abroad, NOT enough to vitalize Chinese football

It is the first time for a foreign team to win the championship since Botafogo College Cup was held 18 years ago, which has made the local media marvel at the news. However, this has aroused constant commendations from Chinese media, who believe that this is a hot spot rarely seen in the events of Chinese football.

Mr. Xu, General Manager of a football club which sent these students overseas, said," These kids deserve a few complimentary words, as they also need encouragement. After all, their overseas life and training is really very hard. However, it is wrong to deem that they have grown strong enough to undertake the cause of the Chinese football only because of this championship trophy. Such an idea will ruin the kids."

Xu added, “Sending these students to Brazil does not mean asking them to realize the dream of the Chinese football, but an effort in opening up new channels for learning football."

A parent on condition of anonymity said, “Though this championship does not mean too much, both the coaches and the kids are very happy with it, because this is a good incentive for them," he added, “My kid said there are also many Japanese students. In his school, besides the Brazilian students, most are from Asia. So the competition is fierce."

Since the end of 2010, the football club started to send Chinese students to Brasil Ole Football Club. (In 2012, Brasil Ole Football Club and Botafogo Football College merged as one.) The first two batches totaling 27 were born between 1995 and 1997. A total of 43 Chinese students received professional football trainings at Botafogo Football College while receiving general curriculum required by the local government.

According to Xu, “From the feedback, we learnt that generally it was really tough for their first year. You can imagine how a teenager feels in a totally unfamiliar environment, where the languages, learning and living habits are totally different. It is hard for them to adapt to it. The second year will be better for them, and it is the time for them to make substantial improvement in their football skills."

He added, “However, this ‘substantial improvement’ is definitely not what most football fans expect the drastic improvement. The understanding of improvement may be different for the football as well as the competition. For example, in the training, some kids may ask why they have to do such training. The Brazilian coach will respond that each movement has its purpose.”

Jin Zhiyang, the former coach of Beijing Guoan Football Team, a notable person in Chinese football, said, "Both studying abroad and hiring foreign football stars cannot solve the essential issue of Chinese football." After leaving professional football league, Jing always believes that only "campus football" is the prescription to cure the "illness" of Chinese football. "

Nowadays, more and more children go to Europe and Brazil to have football training. People have realized that football training must begin from children rather than professional football teams. However, there only are a few children affordable to accept training abroad. Therefore, campus football is the key to improve Chinese football," Jin said.

It is very difficult to attain that Chinese Football Association abandon fantasy and make football part of campus sports in 10 years. However, the "Ten-Year Program for Development" amended several times by Chinese Football Association has mentioned about the three goals of preparation, construction and improvement. The project of 10 campus football cities, 100 campus football schools and the 1,000-student football activity sounds inspiring. Only when it comes true in 10 years, Chinese football can be truly vitalized.

Source: People's Daily Online

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