Tag Archives: David Beckham

Xi Jinping’s Chinese Pipe Dream

The team behind the excellent Wild East Football blog on Chinese soccer do such a comprehensive job that, Beckham aside, I don’t often get around to focusing on what is still China’s most popular sport. But the farce that is China’s national team appears to have hit a new nadir. You might assume at this point that the only way is up, but with 114 teams currently ranked below China, there’s still plenty of room to underperform their own abysmal standards. Here is today’s Sports Talk column:

They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, but Chinese soccer appears to be in a permanent blackout. Lurching out of the shadows of match-fixing and corruption, the national team stumbles from one defeat to the next.

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The real reason David Beckham came to China

Tucked away at the end of David Beckham’s second of his three visits to China this year – and conspicuously absent from his stated itinerary, which included visits to Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou, a photo session with some sick kids, a CSL game and a prime-time TV appearance on CCTV with wife Victoria – was this:Beckham CAR signing

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Beckham visit causes stampede in Shanghai, 7 injured [UPDATED, NEW PHOTOS]

This is exactly what the organizers would have wanted to avoid. Beckham’s first trip to China in March sparked the usual scenes of craziness seen whenever a global celebrity appears in Asia, but everything during Trip 1 seemed to go off without a hitch.

Trip 2 has seen significantly lower media interest so far, but a visit to Tongji University in Shanghai on Thursday saw seven people end up in hospital after students waiting for Beckham to appear broke through the door of the university gymnasium and rushed past a wall of security guards and police.

Policewoman carried away Continue reading Beckham visit causes stampede in Shanghai, 7 injured [UPDATED, NEW PHOTOS]

Beckham in China, Take Two

Now that Sir David Beckham, the God of Branding, has officially hung up his boots, he can concentrate on the Big Problems, like world peace and buying MLS franchises. Becks returns to China next week for the second of three trips this year, as part of his ambassadorial contract with the Chinese Super League. If the first trip was all about the kids, then the second one is all about charity (but like these two, David doesn’t like to brag). Here are the details:

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Neymar’s China strategy

Neymar is coming soon to a billboard near you, especially if you live in Asia. In today’s Sports Talk column, I look at how Barcelona’s new signing will try to conquer the China market, following in the footsteps of the God of Branding, David Beckham.

Neymar denied by Joe Hart in Brazil's 2-2 draw with England on Sunday
Neymar denied by Joe Hart in Brazil’s 2-2 draw with England on Sunday

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Weekly Wrap: Optimistic Americans, Struggling Print Journos and Manny’s Dreadlocks

Tennis, baseball, both forms of football, badminton, athletics and mahjong all feature in this week’s wrap…

Continue reading Weekly Wrap: Optimistic Americans, Struggling Print Journos and Manny’s Dreadlocks

China may lose out as Beckham weighs up retirement options

David Beckham always says all the right things to all the right people, but if he is to fulfill all his promises and obligations, he may need to start cloning himself. With soccer-related commitments in at least the UK, the US, France and China (and possibly others in Qatar in elsewhere), plus countless sponsorship obligations around the world, Beckham’s retirement will be anything but relaxed.

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Beckham’s tearful farewell to PSG fans

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Weekly Wrap: Yao Ming’s death and Other Stories

Yao Ming is sadly no longer with us. The seven-week-old giraffe in Houston named after the Chinese NBA star was put down after a month-long bone infection couldn’t be treated. Sorry for leading with a tearjerker – I promise the other stories will be more cheerful!

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ANSWERED: Five questions about The David Beckham Press Conference

The David Beckham Press Conference (TM) was shown live on CCTV-5, the Chinese national broadcaster’s sports channel, at 2.30pm Beijing time today (and included a couple of searching questions from yours truly!). Here are five things I’d wanted to know, along with the answers:

1. What was the most inane question asked at the press conference?

Answer: Inanity Prize shared between Kid on Stage (How old is your daughter? A: 21 months) and Sky News (How are your chopsticks skills? A: They’re great.)Becks on stage

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Mend it like Beckham

Beckham CSLI’ve already had people ask me what time David Beckham is arriving on Wednesday so they can camp out early at the airport. Whether he appeals to smitten females or potential soccer fans (or both), one thing is certain: Beckham’s visit to China will be crazy. Let’s just hope no one gets trampled….

Here’s my Sports Talk column from today’s Global Times on how he’s made a career out of proving the doubters wrong:

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