Is this one for real? I kind of wonder about this. Would you not wonder about this?
China may be the world’s most populous nation but a men’s soccer giant it is not. Indeed, the nation, ranked 103 in FIFA’s rankings — that’s one below Equatorial Guinea — didn’t even make this year’s World Cup finals. Or the last one. Or the one before that. So how do China’s beleaguered football fans feel? Resigned, mostly. “If China were in the World Cup,” says Chen Xiao, a football journalist from Shijiazhuang, in northeastern China, “it would contradict the laws of football.”
There are many reasons ascribed to the dire state of Chinese men’s soccer. (The women aren’t bad at all.) In places like Brazil, kids seem to grow up with footballs attached to their feet. In China, by contrast, there’s no tradition of kiddie soccer fun, even if some patriots insist the sport was actually invented in the Middle Kingdom. Nor is there a network of suburban children’s…
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