|Lanxi Local Returns from Germany to Teach Football|
At Huangdian Primary School in Huangdian Town, Lanxi City, Zhu Rui, who returned from studying abroad in Germany, has been teaching rural children football for over two years. Instead of focusing on cultivating world-class football stars, his priority is to make children develop a love for football and to pass on this passion to future generations. He believes that the hope of Chinese football lies in rural areas, and he aims to spread positive football concepts at the grassroots level.
Zhu returned to China in 2021, and the Lanxi Football Association specifically invited him to teach for a period of time. Little did he know that once he went, he wouldn't be able to leave. Zhu studied abroad at the University of Bielefeld in Germany, completing both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in a span of 6 years. He received formal football training in China and had extensive exposure to grassroots football during his time with amateur football teams for international students in Germany.
“At that time, I felt that Germans were extremely passionate about football, and it was a part of their daily lives. Germany has 12 levels of leagues, and below the 8th level, there are community football teams. These teams consist of amateur players, including bakers, car mechanics, and ordinary staff,” said Zhu. He sought advice from some German professional and semi-professional players on how to improve football skills. Almost everyone gave the same answer: bring football into the community. It was through encountering these ideas that he made up his mind to return to China and teach children how to play football at the grassroots level.
As a rural school, Huangdian Primary School faces a significant challenge of not being able to retain professional football coaches for a long duration. The Lanxi Football Association has devised various methods to attract more individuals to promote football in rural areas. Huangdian Primary School has also made great efforts to provide support and security for coaches, but the personal dedication of coaches remains essential.
In the vast rural regions, there are numerous football-loving children eagerly waiting for individuals who have the passion to turn their football dreams into reality. Every football enthusiast should maintain patience and love. Perhaps, after this generation of children develops a love for football, the future might witness the emergence of a Chinese Messi among their own children. (By Xu Jianhui)