BEIJING – La Liga president Javier Tebas said on Sunday Chinese players were good enough to find a foothold in Spain’s top-flight, hours after Espanyol winger Wu Lei became the first player from the Asian country to find the back of the net in the history of the Spanish domestic league.
Tebas made these remarks during an interview with EFE in Beijing a day before signing a contract with the Chinese soccer federation with the aim of promoting soccer in China.
Although he ruled out a similar initiative to the one agreed with Saudi Arabia last season, he added that there are skillful Chinese players who can “perfectly play in La Liga.”
In accordance with that initiative, La Liga opened the door for many Saudi players to join Spanish clubs on loan to gain experience.
However, he encouraged all the Spanish teams, not only Real Madrid and Barcelona, to boost its presence on the Chinese social media and to push for matches pitting both countries teams to be held in summer.
“I think that it would be important for Espanyol to be able to be in China this summer. The Wu Lei phenomenon would help to sweep the Chinese market,” Tebas said.
Tebas also stressed the effect of Wu, who joined the La Liga side during the winter transfer window after a 12-year spell at Shanghai SIPG.
“The first results are very good,” Tebas said, adding that the Spanish soccer had to make the most of the momentum it gained in the Chinese market in the wake of Wu’s success.
“Our aim is to be the second competition in China following the (Chinese) Super League. There is a lot of competition, although I think there is a room for all,” he added.
Tebas did not rule out playing a La Liga match in China, after the failed attempt to hold a league game pitting Girona against Barcelona in Miami as he had proposed.
“First we have to solve our internal problems,” Tebas added after his proposal to hold that league game abroad faced a rejection by the Association of Spanish Footballers and Spanish federation.