Can China Become A Serious Football Super Power?
March 22, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

can-china-become-a-serious-football-super-power

I don’t like to be a promoter of stereotypes, but there are certain things that spring to mind when we think of China. Chop sticks. Jackie Chan. Three-in-ones. That place that you wouldn’t willingly bring your dog.

But, football? Nah, no way. I couldn’t think of anything less Chinese than the beautiful game, could you? Well maybe, I dunno, unpolluted air? (OK, I have realised that not only am I a promoter of stereotypes, I am also quite a racist.)

The Green Eyed Monster

But recently, China is one of the hottest topics amongst football fans. Astronomical money is being pumped into Chinese football, meaning that some of the best talents are heading to Asia to fill their pockets with luscious green. They also have a football-mad president who plans on making China a “world football superpower” by the year 2050.

the-green-eyed-monster

Can the Chinese Super League ever match what the like of La Liga, The Premier League and Bundesliga has to offer?

Can China ever win a World Cup?

The Chinese Super League

Despite the extremely negative backlash it received on this side of the footballing globe, the stupendous spending of Chinese clubs has brought a whole wave of talent the likes the league has never seen before. Players such as Carlos Tevez, Alex Teixeira, Oscar and Axel Witsel all swapped playing in Europe’s top leagues to pursue Chinese glory.

Star names such as these are sure to bring a bigger audience to Chinese football, both in stadiums attendances and domestic television. Now, young Chinese boys will grow up watching genuine footballing talent in their backyards, which is very likely to prompt a spike in early age participation.

the-chinese-super-league

But can the Chinese Super League ever enjoy the global success that the likes of the Premier League has?

It seems unlikely. The reason England’s top division is so popular around the world is because, well, they kind of just got there first with the whole showing games in foreign countries thing. A generation of Asian, American, African football fans have grown up with their fathers supporting Manchester United and Liverpool, so it’s only natural that they would do likewise.

The reason Spanish, and to a lesser extent, German football has a global appeal, is because of powerful brands such as Barca, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. They can attract the biggest sponsors and the biggest players. Can the likes of Guangzhou Evergrande or Shandong Luneng ever become as popular? The fact that they don’t play in the Champions League, probably the biggest club competition in world football, means that it’s unlikely. The fact that nobody on this side of the planet knows how to pronounce their names, throws another spanner into the works.

Can China Win a World Cup?

While China are the leaders in many sports, they are completely off the pace when it comes to football. They have only ever qualified for one World Cup and currently sit at 86th in the FIFA world rankings, behind made up countries such as Panama, Uzbekistan and Tír na nÓg. But they plan on having 30 million people playing the sport by 2030, and they believe they can be a genuine world leading power by 2050.

In 2016, World Cup winning manager Marco Lippi was announced as the new manager of the national team. The experienced Italian was a brilliant acquisition and in the short-term is certain to make the Chinese an organised and driven bunch.

can-china-win-a-world-cup

If the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s goal of greatly improving the participation levels and pumping a whole heap of money into this project works, there is no reason why China cannot become much more competitive in the sport. But can they be genuine World Cup contenders in the next 30 years?

A Labour of Love

I’m unsure. In countries such as Brazil, Spain and Germany, football is the number one sport and has been for generations. Young players are growing up hoping to emulate legends that wore the jersey before them. It’s quite likely that China can greatly improve the number of kids playing the game. But when the best athletes reach an age where they will have to decide on which number one sport they want to pursue, will they choose football?

a-labour-of-love

Throwing money at football is all well and good. But until the country becomes infatuated with it, like Spain is, like Brazil is, like England is, they won’t see any real success.

Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” 

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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Can China Become A Serious Football Super Power?
March 22, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

can-china-become-a-serious-football-super-power

I don’t like to be a promoter of stereotypes, but there are certain things that spring to mind when we think of China. Chop sticks. Jackie Chan. Three-in-ones. That place that you wouldn’t willingly bring your dog.

But, football? Nah, no way. I couldn’t think of anything less Chinese than the beautiful game, could you? Well maybe, I dunno, unpolluted air? (OK, I have realised that not only am I a promoter of stereotypes, I am also quite a racist.)

The Green Eyed Monster

But recently, China is one of the hottest topics amongst football fans. Astronomical money is being pumped into Chinese football, meaning that some of the best talents are heading to Asia to fill their pockets with luscious green. They also have a football-mad president who plans on making China a “world football superpower” by the year 2050.

the-green-eyed-monster

Can the Chinese Super League ever match what the like of La Liga, The Premier League and Bundesliga has to offer?

Can China ever win a World Cup?

The Chinese Super League

Despite the extremely negative backlash it received on this side of the footballing globe, the stupendous spending of Chinese clubs has brought a whole wave of talent the likes the league has never seen before. Players such as Carlos Tevez, Alex Teixeira, Oscar and Axel Witsel all swapped playing in Europe’s top leagues to pursue Chinese glory.

Star names such as these are sure to bring a bigger audience to Chinese football, both in stadiums attendances and domestic television. Now, young Chinese boys will grow up watching genuine footballing talent in their backyards, which is very likely to prompt a spike in early age participation.

the-chinese-super-league

But can the Chinese Super League ever enjoy the global success that the likes of the Premier League has?

It seems unlikely. The reason England’s top division is so popular around the world is because, well, they kind of just got there first with the whole showing games in foreign countries thing. A generation of Asian, American, African football fans have grown up with their fathers supporting Manchester United and Liverpool, so it’s only natural that they would do likewise.

The reason Spanish, and to a lesser extent, German football has a global appeal, is because of powerful brands such as Barca, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. They can attract the biggest sponsors and the biggest players. Can the likes of Guangzhou Evergrande or Shandong Luneng ever become as popular? The fact that they don’t play in the Champions League, probably the biggest club competition in world football, means that it’s unlikely. The fact that nobody on this side of the planet knows how to pronounce their names, throws another spanner into the works.

Can China Win a World Cup?

While China are the leaders in many sports, they are completely off the pace when it comes to football. They have only ever qualified for one World Cup and currently sit at 86th in the FIFA world rankings, behind made up countries such as Panama, Uzbekistan and Tír na nÓg. But they plan on having 30 million people playing the sport by 2030, and they believe they can be a genuine world leading power by 2050.

In 2016, World Cup winning manager Marco Lippi was announced as the new manager of the national team. The experienced Italian was a brilliant acquisition and in the short-term is certain to make the Chinese an organised and driven bunch.

can-china-win-a-world-cup

If the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s goal of greatly improving the participation levels and pumping a whole heap of money into this project works, there is no reason why China cannot become much more competitive in the sport. But can they be genuine World Cup contenders in the next 30 years?

A Labour of Love

I’m unsure. In countries such as Brazil, Spain and Germany, football is the number one sport and has been for generations. Young players are growing up hoping to emulate legends that wore the jersey before them. It’s quite likely that China can greatly improve the number of kids playing the game. But when the best athletes reach an age where they will have to decide on which number one sport they want to pursue, will they choose football?

a-labour-of-love

Throwing money at football is all well and good. But until the country becomes infatuated with it, like Spain is, like Brazil is, like England is, they won’t see any real success.

Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” 

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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