Tang Shi Signed by Brazilian Football Club Botafogo
2014-06-12 15:49:00

This undated photo shows 17-year-old Chinese football player Tang Shi gets training with Brazilian football club Botafogo. [Photo: usportnews.com]

Tang Shi, a Chinese football player from Luneng Football School in east China's Shandong province has recently been offered a long-term contract with Brazilian football club Botafogo.

The 17-year-old Tang Shi caught the eye of Botafogo talent scouts during the Rio de Janeiro club's under-19 team Asian tour last year, which is known as the "Luneng Weifang" Cup International Youth Football Tournament in China.

When asked the reason why he was chosen by the well-known club, Tang replies:

"I was representing Luneng Football School when I played against the Botafogo Team last year. In the semifinals, we tied 2:2 and my team got the victory on penalties. I think maybe the way I played in the game impressed them."

Mauricio Souza is a coach of the Botafogo club's youth team. He says:

"Tang is a player with excellent skills and energy. He is good in the midfield and sides. He will be able to improve the overall speed of our team and he can create a lot of pressure in the backfield of the opposing team. He is really fast with the ball."

Botafogo is one of the four best-known football clubs in Rio, with a long history of nearly 120 years. It is also the home-town club of Elkeson, the foreign aid of Guangzhou Evergrande club in China. Many international stars, including Garrincha and Bebeto, trained there. The famous Seedorf, who played in Real Madrid and AC Milan, was just retired from this club. It holds the record of sending the most players to the Brazilian national team, but this is the first time the club has signed a player from Asia.

According to Tang Shi, everyone at the club has been taking care of him and he has been training in accordance with a specially designed program.

"First of all, I am a foreigner to them and that makes them curious. And second, they recognized my skills on the field, which is another reason why they have been taking good care of me. The third, I think football helps us communicate. It's the same everywhere around the world."

The future presents many opportunities for Tang Shi, but he says he also faces challenges such as understanding Portuguese and trying to adapt to the new environment and training program.

"This is a traditional club in Brazil. The management in training and living is very advanced and scientific. Brazilian coaches have higher requirements on the players' abilities in executing the tactics. And they have much more detailed arrangement. They gave me two positions to play - shadow striker and attacking midfielder. I like them because of the freedom."

After a month's training in Brazil, Tang has figured out some differences between the two countries.

"Brazil is a place training talented players. Many football stars have come out from Campeonato Brasileiro, so Brazil is a good platform. The physical demand and overall level here is higher. Coaches and players communicate in a different way. Requirements are not the same on the pitch. I think I should also work harder to have a foothold here. I need to improve my physical abilities and to broaden my views on the whole sport."

Tang Shi says he is willing to learn; he hopes to meet with his fellow teammates and start playing matches as soon as he can.

"The first step is to occupy the main position in the youth team. Next, I want to play on the first team. Then, I hope I can play on the national team and can play as much as possible in the top league matches."

Source:CRIENGLISH.com Author:Mao Editor:Nicky