It has been said that at some point in the future, China would become the new Brazil in terms of a footballing nation. With a population of over a billion people and with athletes excelling in other sports, it is a wonder why this is not already the case.
Danny Hall the sports columnist for Metrostyle Magazine in Beijing gives us an insight into the current football scene in China, having coached aspiring young footballers there.
Chinese football is nothing less than a ticking time bomb of talent. With a population of over 1.3 billion, you would expect this vast pool of people to be churning out top professional footballers left right and centre. However, football seems to have taken a back seat to the successes of the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) and their talisman Yao Ming, not to mention table tennis and badminton teams alike.
This was clear to be seen as all emphasis was engineered into producing world beating Chinese athletes at the Olympics in Beijing 2008, and it paid off. Topping the medals charts dominating the likes of the U.S.A and Russia. Couldn’t all of this political and social power be ploughed into creating the best international football team the world has ever seen?
Why has the most popular sport worldwide been snuffed at when it comes to sport in China, when the potential is extremely high for a world dominance in the football field? What will it take for China and Chinese professionals to be centre stage on the world footballing scene? When will the Chinese athlete be a major player in a world cup to come forth?
Lets take an example, England has hosted the world cup once, won it once and competed at the highest level of international football for decades, even sub-cultures and fashion has emanated from the game. Even though England has underachieved in their expectations massively in recent years, there is one underlying factor that breeds success in England and other nations alike, this is the infiltration of football into society. England, a tiny island in the northern hemisphere, populated by a mere 51 million inhabitants.
People eat, sleep and breathe football in England and the world alike.. literally. And when this occurs it creates an aura of importance around the game, Thus making it an important and prominent entity in society. If England can produce a David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and a Steven Gerrard. Why can’t China? 20 times over. The fundamental solution lies in society itself, football has to be infiltrated into everyday life and manipulated in as many ways as possible.
Whats In Store For Chinese Football In The Near Future?
With the right grooming and implementation of the game, China will become top of the tree in future years to come in the football scene, this can already be seen as China took top spot in the medals list in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. This proves with the right treatment and involvement in a specified area, China can be spectacular. Please don’t misunderstand me, football in China is very much on the ascent. With the fantastic work of China Club Football (Wanguoqunxing) based in Beijing, they are providing excellent coaching from FA qualified personnel, to breed a new era of enjoyment and development for Chinese children in Beijing. Not to mention running regular 5 a side tournaments for the older age groups and adults also. This can only be a good thing for the Chinese people, and is sure to provide many benefits for the future of football in China. The enjoyment of the Chinese children’s faces was clear to see on my ventures into handing my own slice of the football pie to them, and it is unquestionable that China has the ability to be a major force in the future
Special thanks to Metro Style Magazine Beijing www.metro-style.com.cn