August 27 – LaLiga and the Chinese Football Association (CFA) have launched a joint elite player and coach development project – GoalFuture – alongside an initiative to develop competitions and promoting youth football in the both the male and female games.
As part of the elite project, LaLiga will provide its member clubs with up-to-date information on the progress of young China-based talents as well as increase the number of visits from Chinese players and coaches to Spain.
LaLiga’s country manager for China, Sergi Torrents, said: “This agreement represents a logical continuation of the work we’ve been carrying out in China for a number of years now. We always look for our projects to be mutually beneficial. In this case, we’re helping Chinese football to grow and develop from the bottom up, whilst also creating windows of opportunity for LaLiga clubs in the country. We’re convinced that GoalFuture will deliver on both fronts.”
The CFA and LaLiga opened a permanent elite training centre in Madrid last year which has already hosted China’s U-14 and U-17 men’s teams and the U-15 women’s side.
The programme will see the co-ordination of a scouting team and programme that is expected to be finalised in September, and which will focus on identifying potential talent for Spanish clubs.
LaLiga’s director of marketing and international development, Oscar Mayo, decribed the opportunity as “massive”.
“We can point to Lei Wu as a prime example of what can be achieved with a good scouting system. We’re sure that, with the right information and monitoring, other Chinese players will follow in his footsteps. Where required, we at LaLiga will advise both parties, although under no circumstances will we involve ourselves in any transfer negotiations,” said Mayo.
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