Welcome to this week’s learners’ podcast. On this week’s show Damon introduces the Chinese Super league (CSL) and Damian brings you some English for football. Here is the worksheet for this report.
The Chinese Super League
By Damon Brewster (March 8th, 2007)
Pre-Listening (Background information)
Shandong is a city in north-east China
Stuart Pearce is Manchester City’s manager and a former England player
A. Main idea
Listen to the first part of the report and explain if these statements are true or false.
1. T / F Damon says that many people think the sports badminton and table tennis are popular in China
2. T / F Football isn’t very popular in China now.
3. T / F Football was introduced to China by British sailors.
4. T / F Tsu Chu is a modern sport that resembles football.
B. Listening – vocabulary
Listen to the next part of the report and fill in the gaps with an appropriate word.
The modern game in China really (1)……………….. in 1994, but has come alive in 2004 when the CSL or Chinese Super League kicked off with 12 teams. This was the old first division, but now teams that play in the CSL must (2)……………….. rigorous tests to do with their finances, youth development, management, and professional administration before being (3)……………….. to the elite. The CSL was (4)……………….. in 2006 to 15 teams who play each other home now and away with two teams (5)……………….. relegated and the Champion and the China FA Cup winner from this season being (6)……………….. to the ACL, the Asian Champions League. This year, Shanghai Shenhua and Shandong Luneng, the 2006 Champions, are representing the CSL in the Asian Champions League Finals. This competition has just (7)……………….. and so far, Shanghai lost at home to Sydney FC 2-0, but Shandong (8)……………….. Adelaide United away 1-0. I wonder how far these two teams can go.
Listen to the report and answer the following questions.
1. Who is probably the most famous Chinese player abroad?
2. Where has Zheng Zi recently moved to?
3. What position does Zheng Zi play?
4. What are two positive qualities Zhang Zi possesses?
5. Why has Sun Xiang been in the news recently?
China. What do you think of when you think of sport and China? You may think of table tennis or badminton, but probably not football. Well, that is changing now as the world’s most beautiful game sweeps through Asia and Asia’s biggest country. China has awoken to the allure of football, and it surely won’t be too long before this giant nation is a world player.
The start of football in China followed a typical pattern, with British sailors in the 19th century introducing the sport to the Chinese, just as many European travelers and emigrants had to other countries in other parts of the globe. But a ball game called Tsu Chu, literally meaning ‘foot’ and ‘leather ball’ had already been around since 300 BC, where a reference to it is made in a military training manual. This was a kind of cross between ‘keepy-uppy’ and basketball and used to train soldiers in coordination and stamina.
The modern game in China really took off in 1994, but has come alive in 2004 when the CSL or Chinese Super League kicked off with 12 teams. This was the old first division, but now teams that play in the CSL must pass rigorous tests to do with their finances, youth development, management, and professional administration before being admitted to the elite. The CSL was expanded in 2006 to 15 teams who play each other home now and away with two teams being relegated and the Champion and the China FA Cup winner from this season being admitted to the ACL, the Asian Champions League. This year, Shanghai Shenhua and Shandong Luneng, the 2006 Champions, are representing the CSL in the Asian Champions League Finals. This competition has just started and so far, Shanghai lost at home to Sydney FC 2-0, but Shandong beat Adelaide United away 1-0. I wonder how far these two teams can go.
Some of China’s players have made an impact abroad already. Manchester City’s Sun Jihai is perhaps the most well known Chinese player to have signed for a foreign club. Originally at Dalian, his hometown, then Crystal Palace, he moved to City in 2002 and is a regular starter for the club under Stuart Pearce. Another high profile player from the CSL to move abroad is Zheng Zi, who has recently moved to Charlton on a loan deal from Shandong. A versatile player, he can play in defence or midfield, he was China’s footballer of the year in 2003 and 2006, and is the national team’s captain. Many people believe he is the best Chinese player of his generation, with good ball skills and a fantastic work ethic. Moving to Holland, Shanghai Shenhua defender Sun Xiang became the first Chinese player to compete in the UEFA Champions League when he featured for PSV Eindhoven during their 1-0 victory against Arsenal in the Champions league last month. And he’ll also be the first Chinese player to be in the quarter finals of the UEFA Champion’s League.
Keep your eye on this league to grow and challenge for supremacy in Asia. Next week we’re looking at J-League in Japan.