Veteran Shanghai coach Xu Genbao is set to buy a Spanish second division football club and build a Chinese La Masia youth training camp in Lorca, a city in the autonomous community of Spain’s Murcia. The approach taken by Xu has revived approval and support from Shanghai sports officials.
According to Shanghai Daily, Xu took a flight to Spain yesterday evening to complete the takeover of La Hoya Lorca CF.
The 71-year-old is one of China’s best-known coaches and led Shanghai Shenhua to its only top-tier league title in 1995. He then spent a decade cultivating East Asia Football club (formerly Shanghai Youxian 02), which is now Shanghai SIPG, and finished runner-up in the 2015 CSL.
Xu’s relationship with Murcia football was back in 2013 when he paid a visit and was impressed by the football fever there. On hearing that the club was in need of financial support, he made up his mind to make the purchase. No details of the deal were unveiled.
What attracts him to make the decision is that La Hoya Lorca CF is a club with support from the municipal government of Lorca and more importantly, with 1,200 young players in its football academy.
“Lorca club’s football school is what attracted me, and I want to build an overseas football training base. Young players from Chongming and Spain can communicate. Domestic players can go to train in Spain and even play in the Segunda league. The interaction between clubs and training bases will help bring up future stars,” Xu explained.
Source: Shanghai Daily