Three goals! Men’s soccer! Yes, men’s soccer! What? Yes! They beat Korea!

| February 10th, 2010

The title is a phone conversation overheard in the streets after the China-Korea men’s soccer match. Not for 32 years has China beat Korea in a men’s soccer match. So when China beat Korea 3-0, Chinese soccer fans essentially went crazy with media saying it is a win of “historical importance.” The win has also wiped out the continued talk of “Koreanphobia” within the men’s soccer team, due to 27 consecutive non-wins in the past 32 years.

Having battled with problems of corruption and gambling, the men’s soccer team had finally re-discovered their confidence and ambition. Among Chinese soccer fans, there is a joke about the men’s soccer team. It goes something like this:

A man prays to God everyday and one day, God finally decides to listen to him and fulfill his wishes.

The man first requests, “God, I wish for world peace.”

God says, “Hm…that might a bit hard. Ask for something else.”

The man then asks, “Ok, well then let the Chinese men’s soccer team win the World Cup.”

God thinks for a while, and says, “Hm…why don’t we just try world peace.”

So, the Chinese men’s soccer team is pretty much universally deemed to be terrible and hopeless, and if you had asked any Chinese person a few days ago, no one would have said that China had any hope of beating Korea. Even Wen Jiabao says that “if the team were to gain confidence from winning, that is more valuable than gold.”

This article from Sohu hypothesizes about the reasons behind the win:

Perhaps it is all the anti-corruption and anti-gambling efforts that brought confidence, perhaps it was the tie with Japan that boosted their morale, perhaps Wei Zhangmen’s call for “no target” removed some unnecessary pressure,  or perhaps it was the media’s indifference that increased their self-esteem.

I talked with a Chinese friend about this win and he says that it is giving hope to China in more ways than just soccer. The main problem with the soccer team has always been the system, there hasn’t necessarily been anything wrong with the players themselves. So, if the soccer team’s battles with corruption and gambling were so successful, this means that China’s other problematic systems also have hope for improvement and even success.

17 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. ustcbbs says:

    I haven’t concerned Chinese Men football for a long time. About the 3:0, I have a few questions.

    1. Is this Korean team made up of adult professional athletes?

    2. Could someone behind the match control the result? The corruption of Chinese Men football is not news. I worry they can send money to Korean to buy a 3:0…

    • Dan says:

      That’s an old trick of S.Korea, but not China, just like the World Cup in Japan&Korea.

      • ustcbbs says:

        That’s true. FIFA 2002 is the most disgusting World Cup in my memory just because of the fact that everyone in this planet knows.

  2. B-real says:

    what does Corruption have to do with these guys winning international games. I understand the cheating they have been doing inside china. They are playing favoritism, but during the Olympics what was chinas excuse?

    • The point is that the endemic corruption in the national system for soccer has lead to low morale among the players, as well as low expectations and interest among fans. Low morale and low expectations can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Maybe the players aren’t great compared to international standards, but domestic corruption and the lack of confidence it has led to certainly haven’t helped them improve. This article suggests hope that a win may boost the team’s confidence and thus its future performance. I would add my hope that this win might boost support for battles against corruption in the sports system. That would have much greater long term benefits for China’s soccer team.

      • the only curruption in the sports system in china is a guy name jones that claim to be a phD

        • Did I make that claim, or did you, little fenfen? 🙂

          More seriously: A handle is nothing more than a digital nickname. It makes no claims, and is more often the result of an inside joke. Am I to understand that you are a fruit that has not been safely secured in its crate? Or are you claiming to be an overseas Chinese? Most of them can write better English, however, so I will not claim to know you through your handle.

          Have a nice new year, regardless!

  3. Jay K says:

    hey can someone tell me wher to download the japan vs china or korea vs china football m,atch i dont mind torrent sites or in chinese. i just missed it on tv 🙁

  4. John says:

    Hey, congratulations China! 🙂

    GREAT WIN.

  5. about time china has won a soccer game, if only they offered gold medals, maybe they would win like the olympics couple years ago huh? duh!!!!

  6. koreans have aLOT of pride considering all the years of kim chi stuffing intheir mouth that caused the dragon breaths, they are very dissapointed right about now downing it hard with that soju

  7. tigamanter says:

    Sorry to be such a grouch, but this reminds me of some Chuck Klosterman I was just reading, an article about why he couldn’t care less about the Olympics, why it’s dumb to root for the U.S. just because it’s the U.S.:

    “…The only thing the Olympics ever do is reinforce my dislike for a specific kind of American sports fan: people who like the home team simply because the home team is, in fact, the home team….In order to enjoy the Olympics, you can’t think critically about anything; you just have to root for America (or whatever country you’re from) and assume that your feelings are inherently correct….We could toss a bunch of serial killers into teh pool in Athens, and we’d still be told to support their run for water polo gold.”

  8. Charlie says:

    Wow, that is a shock. Very encouraging news, though. I love watching the local team play – even though they’re terrible, the atmosphere is great.

  9. Jan says:

    I am a chinese girl and I love big black dick!!! 🙂

  10. Tim says:

    So the Chinese historic importance is obviously talking trash about different nationality team and showing no respect and manner?… Does China even deserve to be qualified with that kind of childish attitude?… If your talking about cheating, let’s get to the Beijing Olympics, shall we?… we all know about their 14 year old girls on stadium… China should be embarrassed as a nation.

  11. Jan says:

    Ooh tim. You sond so angry yet so very sexy. I am chinese girl but I bow before you and accept your korean rice balls into my mouth…fuck me hard and long …me wub yu wong time.

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