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Chinese Men's Soccer – Nothing left to say

In a year when so many unexpected and abnormal events have struck China… one thing has remained the same. The Chinese men’s soccer team has failed in its attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after losing to Iraq, a pathetic legacy that just can’t be explained. Soccer remains the most popular sport in China (with basketball catching up quickly)… a country of 1.3 billion people, millions are invested in the players, the best coaches/facilities… so, why are we so bad?

Guangzhou’s “New Culture” newspaper was literally at a loss of words. It ran a 84-font headline with no other content after this weekend’s loss:

Men’s Soccer Loses Again – We Have Nothing Left To Say

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  1. Nimrod
    June 17th, 2008 at 17:35 | #1

    I mean, is soccer really doing that much worse, or are people simply more fixated on its failures. China isn’t good at any one of the major men’s ball sports. There is simply too much competition. The women’s teams do a bit better.

  2. June 17th, 2008 at 17:40 | #2

    Dude, at least China qualified for the Asian cup, not one of the UK home teams qualified for the European Cup – totally embarassing!

  3. Bob
    June 17th, 2008 at 18:18 | #3

    Nimrod, I think you are tad too dismissive towards Chinese men’s team sports.

    Their non-successes at world-level competitions notwithstanding, Chinese Men’s basketball and volleyball teams have long been the best or one of the best in Asia.

    Chinese Men’s soccer is of course another story. It may not be a stretch to say that peace in Middle East has more chance to succeed than Chinese Men’s soccer team to make some noise.

  4. AC
    June 17th, 2008 at 18:38 | #4

    It may not be a stretch to say that peace in Middle East has more chance to succeed than Chinese Men’s soccer team to make some noise.

    Hahaha

  5. Buxi
    June 17th, 2008 at 18:59 | #5

    The men’s soccer team doesn’t help being seen as a bunch of primadonna thugs. Pictures have circulated in recent years of them assaulting a grounds-keeper in Shanghai, laughing at the Massacre Memorial in Nanjing…

    Any member of the men’s soccer team probably receives more harassment and hostility than a clothes merchant recently arrived from Nigeria.

  6. Dandan
    June 17th, 2008 at 19:38 | #6

    Well, I think the title said it all.

  7. yo
    June 17th, 2008 at 20:41 | #7

    lol, well, the American team isn’t that good either, even though you would think with all our resources it should be.

  8. BMY
    June 18th, 2008 at 02:18 | #8

    I am not a soccer expert.

    Even China might have the biggest number of soccer fans but for grassroots players I guess the numbers might not be that great if we compare with other countries.

    I can see from where I live in Sydney, there are always little girls and boys doing soccer training in almost every green fields in the weekends if I drive by. these activities are sponsored by the parents. Australians didn’t put too much into soccer in the past.

    same thing if we look into Australian swimming teams. almost every Australian kid starts swim training in very young age and last for many years. I would guess the Australian swimming training population has much bigger numbers than China has.

    the big population doesn’t really mean much if there are not many grassroots players regularly trained and played from young age.

    just my thought

  9. June 18th, 2008 at 06:21 | #9

    The problem might be a lack of an official college competition like the NCAA in the states. I doubt Peking University footballers will ever be able to square off with Fudan players. At least not officially.

  10. Ma Bole
    June 18th, 2008 at 21:32 | #10

    2 comments:

    1. Chinese fans are the only ones I’ve ever seen turn against their own national team and begin rooting for their opponents.

    2. Three or four years ago, I heard a FIFA official speak about the reasons why the Chinese men’s national team has failed to achieve any real measure of success. In his opinion, the Chinese political system’s failure to allow for the development of the kind of independent club system that exists throughout much of the world (and which produces most global football talent) is at fault. In other words, China’s problem is not poverty (Brazil is poor), lack of passion (football is the most popular spectator sport in China), or physical size and strength (Chinese athletes have proven themselves in other sports). In the end, the Chinese government’s fear of and unwillingness to allow for the development of civil society is a principal contributor to the continued failure of the national team.

  11. June 18th, 2008 at 21:40 | #11

    @Ma Bole – I’m anti-communist, but even I don’t think the CCP can really be all the way blamed for China’s failure to win anything (other than the East Asian cup) football-wise. Check out the old USSR team – they won the European cup.

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