Chinese teen’s football training kicks off in Spain

Global Business

Sixteen-year-old Chen Jiahao is getting a chance most kids in China only dream about. He has been training in Club Atletico Madrid for four years. He was among the first group of teenage football players sent by a competitive training program. Now, he can play for some of the best, if not most disciplined coaches in the world.

CGTN’s Wang Hui reports.

Chinese teen’s football training kicks off in Spain

Chinese teen’s football training kicks off in Spain

Sixteen-year-old Chen Jiahao is getting a chance most kids in China only dream about. He has been training in Club Atletico Madrid for four years. He was among the first group of teenage football players sent by a competitive training program. Now, he can play for some of the best, if not most disciplined coaches in the world. CGTN’s Wang Hui reports.
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Their training emphasizes tackling and passing and receiving. If you get something wrong, the coaches stop you and correct you immediately.

The program started in 2012. It selects 30 teenage football players out of a thousand candidates each year. They are aged around 12, and are trained in three major football clubs in Spain.

China’s Wanda is sponsoring this program. It’s the world’s largest commercial property company and cinema chain group.

Football is one of the most popular spectator sports in China, but players haven’t lived up to the fans’ hopes. So in part, Wanda wants to raise the profile of China’s football players.

After four years of training, the young players finally have their debut game in front of a home crowd. In the summer of 2016, they came to Beijing for the Great Wall Cup International Youth Football Tournament. The team finished a respectable 3rd out of 8 teams.. 

Jiahao believes the tremendous effort and fresh experience will bring a brighter future for Chinese football. And if the program pays off, it will be spark that will raise a world cup team. And these boys’ dreams are starting from here.


Mike Fox discusses Chinese football performance

With the billions of dollars China’s investing in club football both at home and abroad, why can’t the men do better on the pitch? To learn more about it, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Mike Fox, CGTN’s Sports Scene anchor.