China Will be a Global Football Powerhouse by 2033

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6:25 PM HKT, Sun July 22, 2018 1 mins read

At least, that’s what a new Nike advert reckons.

Featuring drone referees and a useful-looking number 7 with a somewhat familiar free-kick routine, the commercial shows high-profile transfers involving male Chinese players, kids fighting over who gets to play as Shanghai SIPG on a VR computer game, and England fans bursting into tears when their team is drawn against China in a tournament.

Far-fetched? Maybe. But it looks pretty cool (well, not for England fans — perhaps it will have come home by then though, eh?) — check it out below:

Of course, while Chinese football fans have spent the past month glued to the World Cup in Russia and lamenting just how far off their men’s team seem from attending a major tournament, it’s well worth noting that China’s women’s side became the first team in the world to qualify for next year’s World Cup in France as early as April.

Icelandic coach Siggi Eyjolfssen guided the Steel Roses to their seventh World Cup finals with relative ease. He then left just six months after taking over as head coach, but the team will still fancy their chances 20 years after Sun Wen and co lost the 1999 World Cup final on penalties to the USA.

And while we’re on the subject of football and China (and free-kick specialists wearing a 7 on their backs), here’s a certain recent visitor to the Forbidden City:

Whether you love or hate Cristiano Ronaldo, this seems like a positive initiative:

Who knows? Maybe these kids will be dominating the globe in 15 years time.

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