Bayern boosts China's master plan

By Chen Xiangfeng | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-04 07:27

German giant plans academy for Shenzhen

Bayern boosts China's master plan

From left: Guo Xiaowei, CEO of China Sports Futurity Investment Limited, Jorg Wacker, board member for internationalization and strategy of FC Bayern Munich, and Wang Jianguang, chairman of China Sports Futurity Investment Limited pose after the Bundesliga giant announced plans to open the FC Bayern Football School Shenzhen. Provided To China Daily

Bayern Munich has ramped up its efforts to tap Chinese talent and markets as Germany continues to add its expertise to China's drive for soccer supremacy.

The Bundesliga giant has announced plans to open the FC Bayern Football School Shenzhen in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on the heels of opening an office in Shanghai last week to grow its Asian fanbase.

"Our goal is clearly stated. In the following years, we want to strengthen the visibility of FC Bayern in China and share our knowledge and values," Bayern spokesman Jorg Wacker said, adding the German champion has more Chinese training centers on the drawing board.

One of the main tasks of Bayern's Shanghai outpost will be to promote the club's end-of-season tour of China.

The Bavarian club, which claims to have 136 million fans in China, has already opened a school in Qinqdao, where it ran its first training sessions for teachers and coaches in February.

The Qingdao school is mostly involved in providing a training and competition platform for kids and teens, while the Shenzhen school will offer youngsters more significant, full-time soccer instruction as well a academic education.

"The Bayern Football School is committed to engaging the local football community and providing youth-training philosophy and methodology to coaches and players in Shenzhen," said Wacker.

"The school aims to bring Bayern's youth-development knowledge and expertise together to local coaches and teachers and players to become the first complex for sports, cultural activities and entertainment.

"More importantly, it will be a world-class sports park for soccer training."

Bayern brand ambassador Hasan Salihamidzi said: "We're proud to officially announce the FC Bayern Football School Shenzhen. Chinese soccer has a huge potential and we want to contribute and thus to expedite the evolution of Chinese soccer by sharing our knowledge and experience."

The school will be located in downtown Shenzhen's Longgang district. The site will consist of six 11-a-side pitches, 10 five-a-side fields and four indoor pitches.

The multi-purpose complex will also include a fitness center, a high-tech training ground, a tactics seminar room, a nutrition center, a fan area and a Bayern-themed museum.

It's hoped the combination of Bayern's expertise and Longgang district's considerable resources will help grow the school into a world-renowned youth academy.

Last year, the Chinese Football Association released a 50-point, 35-year plan aimed at improving the domestic game and realizing President Xi Jinping's goal of developing China into a soccer powerhouse.

In an effort to accelerate the plan, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong attended the China-Germany Football Development Symposium in November last year.

The symposium laid the foundation for a stable and sustained strategic cooperation partnership between the two countries in the sport, as well as for creating opportunities for exchanges between both national teams and professional clubs.

Upon the conclusion of the talks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Liu signed agreements to cooperate in government input, soccer associations and campus soccer.

Q&A with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, chairman of Bayern

What does Bayern Munich expect to gain for itself and for Chinese soccer from its new academy in Shenzhen?

Shenzhen has always been a cosmopolitan city, and it's a pity that I have never been there before. We are glad to visit Shenzhen this summer. We plan to play a game or two there. We are looking forward to working together with the Shenzhen municipal government. What we wish for is a long-standing cooperation to build up Chinese youth soccer.

Many stars of Germany's national team come from Bayern and its youth academy. What's the club's secret?

We have been investing in youth training for decades. David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Mueller all made it to the big time as graduates of the Bayern junior team. Our players mainly come from two sources. One is foreign talent, including the likes of Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Robert Lewandowski and Thiago Alcantara. The other, and most important, is native Bavarian players, embodying the spirit and character of our club. The new youth academy adjacent to Allianz Arena will be completed in August. We have put much manpower and resources into its construction, and we will continue to invest in youth training so that more kids from Bavaria can make it into the first team.

Tell us more about the specific details of your cooperation with Shenzhen.

We mainly focus on the youth-training system and the youth-development knowledge, which have been accumulated over 30 or 40 years. Now we are going to teach what we know to Chinese kids. The coach from our youth academy will maintain permanent residence in Shenzhen for the training of both youth players and coaches. The players and coaches who perform the best will visit Germany on a regular basis.

On July 22, Bayern will play AC Milan at the Audi Football Summit in Shenzhen. How do you see that game going? And will Bayern visit Shenzhen frequently?

I was a player in Serie A for Inter Milan. The local derbies left me with so many beautiful memories. AC Milan is a powerful team in Europe, winning the Champions League several twice under current Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti. It will be a fun game, and we are bound to be the winner! We want to demonstrate our strength to fans in China. And, yes, we will visit Shenzhen on a regular basis, which will let fans feel our presence there.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349