Interview: Chinese market the latest pursuit by Ronaldo

Ronaldo Luiz Nazario De Lima is Brazilian soccer legend and three times FIFA World Player of the Year. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua on May 19, he unveiled his current focus on opening football schools in China and helping the players there grow better and stronger.

(Soundbite) Ronaldo Luiz Nazario De Lima, Brazilian Soccer Star
“Football doesn’t have borders. The Chinese market is very important. It has the most football participants in the world, so it’s a market that interests us. Our project was very well received. We have already sold 30 academies in China and we want to sell a lot more franchises there. This goes along with China’s President (Xi Jinping) who has stated a desire to win an important trophy within 10 years. To develop football in China through the Ronaldo Academy Project for me is a great opportunity to contribute to the Chinese people.”

Ronaldo finds his confidence in China, because the country is catching up economically, as well as athletically.

(Soundbite) Ronaldo Luiz Nazario De Lima, Brazilian Soccer Star
“China is making big investments to develop football. Brazilians are targets of clubs that want to grow. It is natural that Brazilian players, with their talent and experience, go to these countries to pass on their experience and help develop football in China. I think it is a great plan that has already delivered results. In the media we have seen these results. We see them through the competitions, Asian leagues and Chinese leagues, with international players standing out. And the Super League has broken new ground, showing that a Brazilian player in China can be called up to the national team.”

Meanwhile, the star pins much hope on the future development of the game in China.

(Soundbite) Ronaldo Luiz Nazario De Lima, Brazilian Soccer Star
“Without doubt, there is a lot of love for football in China and without doubt an immense desire to improve. That is where our experience and expertise come into play. Taking this project to China, I am certain that our contribution in China will be important. We want to take our methodology. We are conscious of the fact that this project could bring a lot of benefits to the Chinese people.”

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