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Portuguese President vows closer soccer cooperation with China

By Xu Zhengzhong, Wu Jun, Yang Xuebo from People’s Daily

As a prestigious football powerhouse, Portugal is willing to assist in China’s soccer ambitions, vowed Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in his exclusive interview with the People’s Daily on Tuesday.


Nowadays China has many soccer clubs and training schools that have established cooperative partnerships with Portuguese clubs. When asked about what experiences Portugal can share with China regarding soccer development, Rebelo de Sousa said that soccer has created many opportunities for branding Portugal.


“Cristiano Ronaldo is also a household name in China,” he said, adding that the Portuguese soccer star is also a potential spokesman for the country not only in sports events, but also in other areas.


Rebelo de Sousa also called for increased youth training, the future of the sport and the soccer industry.


“They are very likely to become profession athletes, or take on football-related occupations, such as coaching, refereeing, stadium management and sports medical care, which all boast great development potential,” he explained.


His interview with Yang Zhenwu, President of the People’s Daily, is his first with foreign media since assuming office.




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