Students of Class 119, Grade 1 pose for photos on the pitch at Huangyadong school in Licheng County of Changzhi City in north China's Shanxi Province, on April 16, 2019. (ZHAN YAN / XINHUA)
MADRID - China is on the right track when it comes to training a new generation of players, said Fran Navarro, coordinator of the youth system at Spanish LaLiga club, RCD Espanyol in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Espanyol has a close relationship with China thanks to the fact that the Chinese businessman, Chen Yansheng of the Rastar Group is the club's majority shareholder.
That has seen the club sign Chinese international Wu Lei and also announce plans to open an academy in the Chinese province of Hunan
That has seen the club sign Chinese international Wu Lei and also announce plans to open an academy in the Chinese province of Hunan.
"I think that China is taking the correct steps to improve its training of young players because they are open to seeing how others do it and are able to then apply what they have learned," commented Navarro.
Navarro said that the most important thing was to "open the mind" and look at the structure of youth systems in other countries and regions to then find what is most appropriate.
"The ones who are going to know how to grow are the Chinese themselves, as they are there. They are the ones who have to make their own system and make it work."
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"There are a lot of people in China who are well prepared and who will find a way of reaching the top level," he added, indicating that the Spanish club could benefit from the progress of Chinese players.
"It's important for us to keep an eye on the evolution of young Chinese players to be able to maybe sign more Chinese players in the future," said Navarro.
"China is a country with a clear future because it is emerging on a football level and is working hard to improve. We can help them and they can help us," he added.
Wei Dujuan (front) of primary Class 3, Grade 5 and her classmates do football exercises at Huangyadong school in Licheng County of Changzhi City in north China's Shanxi Province, on April 18, 2019. (ZHAN YAN / XINHUA)
Areial photo taken on April 15, 2019 shows students do football exercises at Huangyadong school in Licheng County of Changzhi City in north China's Shanxi Province. (ZHAN YAN / XINHUA)
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