China deepens European engagement with La Liga deals

La Liga football club Villarreal has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese Super League football club Tianjin Teda following a meeting between the two clubs last October.

As a result the MoU, which is focussed on youth development, will see the Spanish outfit provide the Tianjin Teda youth team with five coaches, including a goalkeeper coach and a fitness coach, to aid in their footballing development. 

Teda released a statement which read: “We hope that all age groups can take advantage of the rich experience from the Villarreal coaches to achieve better results in 2020.

“In the future, Tianjin Teda will continue to strengthen communication and exchanges with Villarreal, and send coaches and players to the LaLiga club to study and experience their high-level youth training system in order to improve our club, and provide more outstanding players for the first-team and Chinese national team.”

As well as this, China has also seen it professional relationship within La Liga grow further following the announcement that Wu Lei, the RCD Espanyol and China international striker, had signed a deal with Chinese fast fashion brand Heilan Home. 

The deal follows on from the striker’s exploits against FC Barcelona at the weekend where he came off the bench to score the equaliser in the Catalan derby and sees him build his personal sponsorship portfolio which also includes his ambassadorial role for iFlyTek. 

Moreover, Espanyol, who already has sponsorship agreements with China Mobile and iFlyTek, has seen strong media responses since purchasing Lei in January 2019 with roughly 40 million people in China tuning in on various online video platforms to see the striker’s first match for the side back in February. 

China’s involvement within European football builds on the country’s recent efforts to grow the sport – both competitively and industrially and follows on from its awarding of 2021 Club World Cup hosting rights by FIFA. 

At the time, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, stated: “This is a historic decision for football because the Fifa council decided unanimously to appoint China as the host for the new Fifa World Cup for clubs.

“The new FIFA World Cup for clubs will be a competition which every person who loves football looks forward to. It is the first real and true world cup for the best teams and clubs in the world.”