Tag Archives: David Beckham

Sir Alex Ferguson on Chinese football

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Sir Alex Ferguson released his second autobiography this week and the press were eager to find out what he really thought of Beckham, Keane, Wenger, Rooney etc at the launch event in London. Press conferences like this tend to have a fairly standard format, where either a moderator invites journalists by name to ask questions, or the TV reporters kick things off and it follows from there.

But they were all taken by surprise when Ferguson walked in nearly ten minutes early and as things were still settling down, a Chinese journo asked for Ferguson’s views about Chinese football and also why he had allegedly been rude to a female reporter in the past (details of this were not clear). Fergie laughed off the second part, before answering:

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Tiger Woods: best player never to win a major (again)?

Tiger Woods and Ye Shiwen might make an unlikely couple, but both are prime examples of athletes who have lost their sporting mojos. This week’s Sports Talk column looks at why athletes struggle to get back to their top of their game after losing form:

ImageWe tend to think of sports as being a purely physical pursuit, but at the very top levels, it’s far more about mental strength than anything the body can do. Just as a novelist can get ­writer’s block and be paralyzed for months, once an athlete ­loses their sporting mojo, it can be very hard to retrieve.

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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.

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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…

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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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