Thursday 25 December 2014

China's football academy: World's biggest football school in pictures

Published 18/06/2014 | 16:52

QINGYUAN, CHINA - JUNE 14:  Young Chinese students wait to kick during training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. The sprawling 167-acre campus is the brainchild of property tycoon Xu Jiayin, whose ambition is to train a generation of young athletes to establish China as a football powerhouse. The school is considered the largest football academy in the world with 2400 students, more than 50 pitches and a squad of Spanish coaches through a partnership with Real Madrid. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
QINGYUAN, CHINA - JUNE 14: Young Chinese students wait to kick during training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. The sprawling 167-acre campus is the brainchild of property tycoon Xu Jiayin, whose ambition is to train a generation of young athletes to establish China as a football powerhouse. The school is considered the largest football academy in the world with 2400 students, more than 50 pitches and a squad of Spanish coaches through a partnership with Real Madrid. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

While China’s national football team may not have qualified for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, or any tournament before or since 2002, the country's ambition to become the next footballing powerhouse is in no way dampened.

A fascinating new photoset has offered an insight into the Guangzhou Evergrande International Football School in the southern province of Guangdong – a sprawling 167-acre sporting campus where its owner hopes to train a generation of formidable young Chinese athletes.

QINGYUAN, CHINA - JUNE 14:  Young Chinese students wait to kick during training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. The sprawling 167-acre campus is the brainchild of property tycoon Xu Jiayin, whose ambition is to train a generation of young athletes to establish China as a football powerhouse. The school is considered the largest football academy in the world with 2400 students, more than 50 pitches and a squad of Spanish coaches through a partnership with Real Madrid. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Chinese students wait to kick during training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
A Chinese coach shouts to players as young students wait to be subbed in during a training match at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
A Chinese student heads the ball during training on the main pitch at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Chinese football players exercise on pull-up bars at the Evergrande International Football School on June 12, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
A coach from Real Madrid stands with a young Chinese student before subbing him to a training match at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Chinese students practice sprints at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Chinese football players watch others training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 12, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China.(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Chinese football stretch during training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 13, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
A view of some of the 50 pitches at the at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Young Chinese football players sit together in the campus as they wait to head to training at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Chinese students with their turn as they practice before a training match at the Evergrande International Football School on June 14, 2014 near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Property tycoon Xi Jiayin is believed to have spent around £115 million on the institution, which is considered to be the largest football academy in the world, where 2,400 students train across 50 pitches.

Having perhaps identified that the school may need some outside help, a squad of Spanish coaches train the children as part of a deal with Real Madrid.

 

 

“[World Cup glory] is our dream. This is what we are working towards,” Fernando Sanchez Cipitria, a former Spain international who is now the technical director of the Evergrande, told the Telegraph.

Independent News Service

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