After a breathless few weeks during which the entire sporting world has been talking about Chinese football (with yours truly quoted by AFP three times, FT twice, El Pais, Hicimos, Vice Sports and interviewed by CCTV, BBC and Al Jazeera among others), let’s take a look at a few stories that could be cropping up over the next 12 months…
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s supposed love of The Beautiful Game runs so deep that state media have even run cartoons of him depicting his futbol passion. But how much does he really like the sport?
The glut of “China isn’t at the World Cup, but…” articles has slowed (there is only so much to say, after all), though these pictures of President Xi Jinping are doing the rounds (h/t @niubi), unthinkable to depict the President in cartoon form just a few years ago.
The Chinese are watching the World Cup in their droves, with some staying up so late that three people have now reportedly died from World Cup-related sleep deprivation. 118 million posts about the World Cup were written between June 12-17, but FIFA, in all its infinite wisdom, has no official online presence in China. Here’s more:
The Chinese are getting up in their millions to watch the World Cup, and as expected Brazilian Neymar is becoming one of the main stories (this piece on Neymar’s China’s strategy is worth another look). But other things are happening too. Here’s a selection of interesting stories from the past few days (the first two of which feature some special China Sports Insider insight!).
China won’t be playing in Brazil – they have appeared at a World Cup just once and failed to score a goal – but millions will stay up late to watch the games – starting this Friday at 4 am when Croatia kicks off against the host nation in São Paulo. Here are 10 things in this year’s World Cup with a Chinese connection. Continue reading The World Cup with Chinese characteristics
Alain Perrin, coach of the Chinese national men’s soccer team, should make sure his squad have a busy month. When they are not preparing for friendly games against Macedonia and Mali, he should take them out to the local bars, sit them down in front of the TV, buy them a nice non-alcoholic beverage, and make them watch as many World Cup matches as possible.