Will India & China produce world-class footballers soon?

VorZakone

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More than 2 billion people combined. You just know there is talent to be discovered but the scouting infrastructure probably is still lacking. But, will that change? Can we see world-class players coming from these two countries in the next 50 years?
 

SilentStrike

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A country like South Korea has produced several world class players like Son and Cha Bum in the 80's.

It's only a matter of time before China will do the same.
 

Skills

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Eventually, though still far away in the immediate future. In India the challenge will be infrastructure coaching & then how do you get kids choosing football over cricket.
 

Red_toad

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A country like South Korea has produced several world class players like Son and Cha Bum in the 80's.

It's only a matter of time before China will do the same.
Maybe the CCP will eventually get around to annexing South Korea to sort the issue out. I know they have big plans for expansion.
 

SAFMUTD

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No, it's not only a thing about population. Uruguay has less than 3.5 million in population and they have produced players like Forlan, Cavani, Suarez, Godin, Giménez, Valverde, Betancur, etc
 

Offside

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Maybe. We haven’t even see a half decent pro footballer from those countries yet though have we?
 

littleman

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Probably in the next 30 years. There's a certain amount of it that comes from training and getting the right basics. It isn't really happening yet.
 

Lay

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Maybe. We haven’t even see a half decent pro footballer from those countries yet though have we?
China has had a few decent players in Europe. Sun Jihai played for City, Zheng Zhi played for Charlton and Celtic, Wu Lei plays for Espanyol currently.
 

do.ob

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Given how much effort clubs put into their academies these days I wouldn't be surprised if the disadvantage from being born in the "wrong" country is the highest it has ever been.
And while in Africa there seems to be a whole industry of academies and agents who try to exploit these kids by getting them into Europe no one appears to be even scouting China or India.
 
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pcaming

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China potentially with the money they've put into their league. I don't believe India has that kind of infrastructure, and football is still far behind cricket.
 

Sky1981

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Football isn't seen as important there, In china it's only popular to watch, not to play. I think India is always about Cricket more?

What makes a country great is the if the majority loves the sport and plays the sport from the grassroot, coupled with good footballing structure and actual clear path for talent to make their way. When a certain rich / populous country loves a sport, they'll become good at it eventually (American with basketball, Russian with chess, etc). Having population that doesn't play the sport wouldn't won't do any good.
 

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Ali Asfag of Maldives got an offer at some European clubs including Benfica but he turned them down. Silly of him. QPR was also interested in him after he started playing in Malaysia and then the QPR Chairman saw him playing. I think like Arab players they get a decent living in playing in Asia and of course where the weather and life style is not so different compared to Europe.
 

calodo2003

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I think it would be Sunil Chhetri?
Has there been any Indian footballers who have done well in higher quality foreign leagues?

It seems as though this cat has only played in domestic leagues bar one short spell with an MLS club.
 

Foxbatt

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Has there been any Indian footballers who have done well in higher quality foreign leagues?

It seems as though this cat has only played in domestic leagues bar one short spell with an MLS club.
No I do not think so. But I think Asfag of Maldives would have succeeded at a mid table club. Even Carlos Quiroz (when he was the manager of Iran) tried to get him for a Portuguese club but he turned it down.
 

Lay

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Has there been any Indian footballers who have done well in higher quality foreign leagues?

It seems as though this cat has only played in domestic leagues bar one short spell with an MLS club.
Not really. Celtic had a barefooted Indian player in the 30s that dazzled the locals but he became homesick and left after two games. Subrata Pal (GK) went to the Norwegian league but never played - he also was involved in a collision whilst playing that resulted in the death of an opposition player. Bhutia played for Bury in League 1.

There's players of Indian origin around like Sapreet Singh of Bayern Munich but he was born and raised in New Zealand.
 

Demyanenko_square_jaw

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Soon? Highly unlikely. The gap from where these countries are now and consistently producing very good international quality footballers is massive.

Even go into a longer time of 3-4 decades and i'd bet heavily against it. Maybe China have the money and infrastructure potential to brute force it within that sort of time period if they really want, but there is only so much even a highly authoritarian government are likely to force things if the love for the sport isn't high enough.
 

el3mel

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Why not? I never expected myself that Egypt will have a world class player at one point but here we are. It can happen at any point.
 

Cast5

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Why not? I never expected myself that Egypt will have a world class player at one point but here we are. It can happen at any point.
Egypt don’t produce world class players they have a world class player.
 

Morty_

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Football isn't seen as important there, In china it's only popular to watch, not to play. I think India is always about Cricket more?

What makes a country great is the if the majority loves the sport and plays the sport from the grassroot, coupled with good footballing structure and actual clear path for talent to make their way. When a certain rich / populous country loves a sport, they'll become good at it eventually (American with basketball, Russian with chess, etc). Having population that doesn't play the sport wouldn't won't do any good.
Football(or soccer as they would say) isnt important in the US either, but they still produce good players here and there, and usually do okay internationally.

Maybe its even less important in China or India than in the US though.
 

Jersey Heel

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I think there are people all over the world who have the innate ability to be world class in a sport, but don’t because they’re not given the opportunity or simply never pursue it. Think of American football or baseball. They’re not that worldwide and I imagine there are more than a few farmers or whatnot out there who have great arms and could have been a great pitcher or quarterback had they been born in the States.
 
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Caesar2290

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More than 2 billion people combined. You just know there is talent to be discovered but the scouting infrastructure probably is still lacking. But, will that change? Can we see world-class players coming from these two countries in the next 50 years?
I don't think population size really matters. Just look at the Netherlands or Belgium as an example. Recently Norway has also been on a roll. It has more to do with footballing culture and the coaching, especially at the youth levels. It might take a while before we see any major changes.
 

monosierra

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I don't think population size really matters. Just look at the Netherlands or Belgium as an example. Recently Norway has also been on a roll. It has more to do with footballing culture and the coaching, especially at the youth levels. It might take a while before we see any major changes.
I agree - culture trumps population in this case. Outside specialized Olympic sports, there just aren't sufficient incentives for parents to dedicate their kids to the pathway to professional football. Studying hard, go to a top university, and work for a big company remains the default career path for the vast majority of kids - a path that precludes investing the time and effort needed to prep a kid for a shot at professional sports. Korea has a very similar attitude towards life but of course, they've managed to successfully churn out world class players. Here, the good work done by the FA comes in - and China's work is lacking in this department. The Korean success in 2002 was a pivotal event in that it proved that the country is able to produce world class footballers and changed attitudes nationwide (Setting aside the caveats of referee problems etc). The US has the opposite problem where parents do dedicate their kids to professional sports - but football is no match for American football when it comes to career prospects and earnings there.
 

Sky1981

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Football(or soccer as they would say) isnt important in the US either, but they still produce good players here and there, and usually do okay internationally.

Maybe its even less important in China or India than in the US though.
Did they?

I say 1994 apart they're pretty tame football wise. Even jamaica wasnt so bad in the WC.

China and india didnt make the WC not because they're much weaker than US. I'd say because they face stiff competition in Asia region for qualification. There are several tough teams in asia. Iran, russia, australia, south korea, japan, etc.

Also... i dont think the gap in power are as big as they were back then. These days even minnows wont look so out of shape against elite european team.
 

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vikesh dhorasoo- of Lyon and France (some international caps). Of Indian origin. Best player of south Asian roots I’ve seen. Classy playmaker who featured in Champions League
 

Mindhunter

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Football isn't seen as important there, In china it's only popular to watch, not to play. I think India is always about Cricket more?

What makes a country great is the if the majority loves the sport and plays the sport from the grassroot, coupled with good footballing structure and actual clear path for talent to make their way. When a certain rich / populous country loves a sport, they'll become good at it eventually (American with basketball, Russian with chess, etc). Having population that doesn't play the sport wouldn't won't do any good.
Exactly. Football is famous only in West Bengal, Goa, Mumbai, and a few southern states. Also, it isn't glamorous and footballers rarely are in the upper echelons of sportsmen so young kids lack the role-models and the financial incentive to take up the sport.

I played a lot of football during my school days growing up in Calcutta but majority of the good players from my school either pursued higher studies or moved to cricket coaching academies where the payoff was much higher.

Now with the advent of the IPL, it is almost impossible for any other professional sports to flourish. India did have some old clubs with a lot of history like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan but their infrastructure and youth facilities are in tatters. The government doesn't encourage the sport either and keep pandering to flashy IPL franchisees that bring in the moolah.

Now with European football readily available as a product through cheap TV channels and streaming sites, there is no incentive to improve the quality of the local game. Most of my friends (including me) are fans of English clubs as we grew up supporting and rooting for them.
 

Morty_

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Did they?

I say 1994 apart they're pretty tame football wise. Even jamaica wasnt so bad in the WC.

China and india didnt make the WC not because they're much weaker than US. I'd say because they face stiff competition in Asia region for qualification. There are several tough teams in asia. Iran, russia, australia, south korea, japan, etc.

Also... i dont think the gap in power are as big as they were back then. These days even minnows wont look so out of shape against elite european team.
Yes.

As for international football, they advanced from the WC group stages in 2010 and 2014, not bad for a nation who barely cares about the sport.
 

RedRonaldo

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Never understand why China, with such large population, lots of money and love of watching football, never able to produce even 1 worldclass player. I mean, they are good at other sports, won lots of gold medals in Olympic, and even produce some big NBA star. But why not in football?
 

el3mel

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I thought Hani Ramzi was class. And that player who played for Zamalek in the 70s? Was he Saudi?
I didn't manage to catch Hani Ramzi's age, but from what I heard about him he was very good indeed. He joined Bundesliga champion back then.

Ultimately our successful or known players bar Salah world wide were only Ramzi, Zidan, Mido, Ahmed Hassan and Elneny. Salah is head and shoulder ahead of them no question. Zidan and Ramzi are probably 2nd. Hassan was successful but he spent his years in Turkey and Belgium, and Mido.. Oh boy.

It's a little bit shit, because if you checked the Egyptian team of the 2008-2010 it has ton of players with potential world class but none of them played abroad.

Our current generation of players is trash though. Salah is the only exception. It's evident from the last AFCON debacle.
 

afatzp

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As a Chinese, I can name couple reasons why we would not produce any world class player at least in the next decade:
1. Small football population. with total population of over 1.4B , the registered players with FA was less than 750K in 2019, that means less than 0.1% of population participate in the system and play regular games and tournaments arranged by FA, not mentioning at the professional level.
2. Football is a luxury sport in China. You barely find any free park or playground that you can play football on , unless you can rent a field by hour. Of course, you can't play on streets as well. School fields are always over-crowded.
3. Malfunction of football academy & career system. If you would like to develop a professional career, you would have to afford the kits , high-protein diets, the tuition fees and all other misc. costs in professional PE schools, and sometime bribery to get picked in the selection, until you can barely make a living after becoming a professional footballer. If you did not have the talent to make it, you are doomed, as alternative career related to football basically non-exist: jobs like coach, scout, pundit are underpaid and you can't take them as full time job to survive. So you can imagine such high-investment, high-risk career path is not popular in China and do not attract talent to stay with it.
4. High carb diets. Set aside race in the discussion, Chinese diets are high carb and low protein, so basically it means if you stick to Chinese diets in your early age before even practicing football, you can't really grow as strong as kids in other countries.
 
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Wolf1992

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Never understand why China, with such large population, lots of money and love of watching football, never able to produce even 1 worldclass player. I mean, they are good at other sports, won lots of gold medals in Olympic, and even produce some big NBA star. But why not in football?
Football is not all about training, probably the only sport when you're not going to become good just because you train a lot.
You need some football culture, natural skill and passion for the game, which China doesn't have...sure they like to watch football, but they don't like to play it that much.

Now the chinese government is trying to make Football popular(because of money), but seems very forced tbh, like they are trying to push Football into the people but not in a natural way...too forced.
 

André Dominguez

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I'm hearing this talk about China since the early 2000s. They will eventually produce some good players, but I think this is also a cultural thing, and football simply is not at the top of their pyramid in sports.
 

11101

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I'm not sure. Sheer volume alone would suggest some will make it to the higher levels but China's culture and education system does not produce the kind of expressiveness that is required for a world class footballer.
 

RoyH1

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Eventually they'll start pumping out some good players. If Japan and Korea did it, I don't see why China wouldn't be able too. Even with all the limitations of the political/educational systems on grassroots football.
 

ariveded

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Given both countries are spending big in their premier leagues or super leagues, it is inevitable that some uncapped, decent and foreign ethinicity player will be eligible for their national teams. That itself can be a route for more success, publicity and results. Maybe some football work visas and quicker eligibility rules for talented 2nd tier players around the world...