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Bing Changbao, from Brazil’s Slums to the Top League?

History always repeats itself - this isn't the face that can sell a club to billions of Chinese

Bing Changbao is something of a mystery man. Apparently he’s being chased by top Brazilian club Corinthians. Not much is known about the 22-year old striker except that he’s lived in Brazil for six years and has good command of Portuguese.  We’ve heard plenty of stories of Brazilians from the favelas who make it big in Brazilian soccer, but this is the unique story of a Chinese who went to Brazil to learn his trade, ending up on the streets, and now might even make it into one of the country’s most famous clubs.

But always on the pulse of unknown happenings in the world of Chinese football, Smari has unleashed his powers of research to provide our dear Wild East Football’s readers the lowdown on this exotic figure.

Bing Changbao is a striker with real pace, he’s been timed running the 100 meters in only 10.6 seconds.  He is originally from Liaoning, and in 2005, when he was 16 years old, Bing Changbao and thirty other young footballers went to Brazil for football training under Chinese coach Sun Xianlu.

The trip failed to meet Bing’s expectations as it seemed that though they were in Brazil, all the training programs and techniques were still very Chinese, far from the “jogo bonito” of Brazil.  He then voluntarily left the side and tried to continue his education in Brazilian football on his own.

This decision meant that Bing had to cover his own living costs and tuition, forcing his mother to sell the family’s car and two properties back in China to support him.

However, life didn’t go smoothly for Bing – his Brazilian visa expired and he found himself hiding from the police to avoid being deported. His situation got so bad that he had trouble buying food. But fortunately, he met a generous Brazilian, who subsequently sponsored him after hearing his unique story.  Bing later married a Brazilian girl,  allowing him to receive a Brazilian Green Card and no longer need to worry about the police or other authorities.

Starting from 2005, Bing’s “Brazilian adventure” has been all over the place:

2005: Came to Brazil to train, voluntarily left the program to pursue his education in Brazilian football.

2006: Joined Ponte Preta and began his professional football career.

2006 March: Joined XV de Piracicaba

2007: Joined Vasco da Gama, played with Romario for a season

2008: Joined Ronaldo’s former club, Sao Cristovao

2008 year end – 2009: Joined two different clubs: Boa Vista and Mesquita

2009 April 25th: Joined Serrano

2010 January 3rd: Joined Barra Mansa Futebol Clube

2011 July: Linked with Brazilian top club Corinthians

And – in July, 2011, Luis Paulo Rosenberg, Corinthians’ marketing director was reputed to have said the following:

“I am bringing a Chinese national team kid, he is rubbish but that does not matter…the Chinese will know there is a Chinese player playing at Corinthians and will want to watch his games on TV, buy shirts with his name”.

Despite this rather bizarre utterance, and a laughably bad understanding of the Chinese sports market, it is not known if Bing Changbao will join Corinthians. It is said that Flamengo, another top tier Brazilian club, is also joining in the race to get the Chinese player.

The two Brazilian clubs should understand that having a Chinese player doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to enter the market.  There are plenty of options for football fans and many could care less about a Chinese player they’ve never heard of when they can instead choose to watch the likes of Rooney, Messi, and other more famous players they know well.  Also, just having a Chinese player doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get the needed tv contracts to broadcast your games in China.  In this case, the South American leagues have taken a step backward from the old days when CCTV-5, the sports station, would cover the Copa Libertadores.

While it might seem like a dream come true for Bing, being fought over by two of Brazil’s top teams after his long and weird journey, the clubs are in for a rude awakening if their signing of Bing is based purely on commercial reasons.

This is a subject that has been covered by in great detail before – Dong Fangzhuo: The Travelling Disappointment That Will Never Give Up)

A Brazilian television show featured Bing Changbao recently, here it is on youtube below:

(Please note: Wild East Football and Smari are not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the research and news. We strive to give you the best updated news through Chinese to English translation for this article.)

Ever since witnessing Yang Chen’s near goal opportunity in the game of China vs. Turkey in World Cup 2002 from his bed at 3am, Smari has developed an avid interest in following the Chinese national team. He had seen how the Chinese team was worshiped as gods during the World Cup 2002 and Asian Cup 2004, and how they are treated like shit since the failure to qualify for the World Cup 2006. Smari joined Wild East Football as a contributor because he realized there is a need for the world to know about Chinese football. There is an almost bare minimum amount of English language forums or websites that strictly talk about Chinese football, the Chinese Super League, the Chinese national team, etc. The world needs to know that Chinese football is not about Shaolin football, corruption, diving, and cheating; we are about playing with our heart to bring smiles to our already embarrassed fans. Smari hopes he would be able to witness the improvement of Chinese football and spend all his life savings to watch Guojiadui’s second World Cup appearance at whatever venue, even a warzone. Apart from writing/translating Chinese football news, Smari loves playing mahjang, imitating how Samri Nasri dribbles in the Emirates pitch, watching how Adam Johnson terrorizes his rivals, learning bar tending to make up his reason for consistent drunkenness, being artistically weird by shooting abstract photos, and defeating boringism in his mundane life. He also loves traveling, and he hopes to have his own apartment that is filled with national team jerseys from every country he visited. Smari often attributes his depression to the current dire state of Chinese football, let’s hope he won’t turn insane soon.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. JeonbukLovesHuang

    08/08/2011 at 14:09

    What is the purpose of joining Corinthians if it isonly for marketing reasons?

    • smari

      09/08/2011 at 00:53

      For the clubs, they would naively think that would bring Chinese fans and shirt sales.

      For Bing, it might be an opportunity to prove himself and learn from one of the top Brazilian clubs (which I heavily doubt he would make it to the first team, especially Corinthians is pursuing for Tevez).
      He should realize the danger of tarnishing his reputation if he join the club and don’t play a single game.

  2. CP

    10/08/2011 at 09:34

    From his constant moving around, he doesn’t seem too good.
    Still, it’s interesting to read about him.

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