China pours money and resources into soccer as it dreams of becoming a superpower in the sport. Julie Noce reports.
China’s World Cup dreams
A soccer coach barks orders to his players in Spanish, which are immediately translated into Mandarin.
The former Real Madrid coach is one of 24 from the football club that have been flown in to work here – at the Evergrande Football School in southern China.
This academy is the world’s largest and boasts 50 full sized pitches spread over some 88 acres of land.
It’s all part of President Xi Jinping’s plan to turn China into a soccer powerhouse.
11-year old Wang Shijie says he has big dreams.
When I join the national team, he says, I’ll do my best to win the World Cup.
2500 students pay between seven and 10 thousand dollars each year to attend the school.
To be successful at the sport, it’s comes down to how well you play.
Coach Fernando Sanchez Cipitria.
Technically, they’re good. But they lack the ability to play together as a group. They need to make better decisions as a group in the field.
The country is hoping for a five-fold increase in its sports market by 2025 with football playing a major role.
Although corruption and quality in the sport remain serious hurdles.