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WEF Exclusive: Fan Power Persuades Xabi Alonso to join Beijing Guoan

Real Madrid and Spanish international superstar Xabi Alonso is set to join Beijing Guoan in the summer on a three year deal worth an eye watering $60 million – can exclusively reveal.

And in a bizarre twist, the former Liverpool midfielder revealed that he was so moved by the Guoan fans’ ceaseless chanting of his name that he felt an instant affinity with the Gongti faithful.

The signing sees Beijing Guoan play catch-up with big-spending rivals Shanghai Shenhua and Guangzhou Evergrande – clubs based in China’s other two major cities.

Alonso recently took in a Beijing Guoan match during a promotional tour to China and a source close to the club told that the player said, “I was so impressed with 50,000 fans calling my name so often throughout the game, a few fans saw me sitting in the VIP box then just seconds later the whole stadium was chanting Xabi! Xabi! – I don’t how word spread so fast but I was really touched by the sincere support and I just knew that this was the club for me.”

The Spaniard revealed that he made his final decision after learning that the fans were shouting his name through the whole match during subsequent games which he was not in China to attend. “I’ve always had a fascination for China ever since I learned the cockney rhyming slang for ‘mate’ during my time playing in England.  I thought about joining Shanghai, but when I visited there were so many people wandering around outside my hotel in pyjamas I thought I was in a city of sleep walkers.”

The deal is thought to include a range of commercial agreements, which will see Alonso endorse leading roast duck, baijiu and cigarette brands. A leading Chinese business analyst, Gou Shi, said the deal represented a breakthrough in sports marketing, linking local cultural icons with a global sporting one.

A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.



  1. Yiddo Huayi

    01/04/2012 at 16:33

    Date check… ROFL.

    • Damian Jones

      03/04/2012 at 12:45

      What has him learning cockney slang got to do with him liking China?

      Anyway, GZ should have first dabs considering we are affiliated to RM !! 🙂

      • Yiddo Huayi

        03/04/2012 at 15:48

        Cockney rhyming slang: China plate = mate

        In terms of GZ Hengda having dibs on him, is there a Cantonese equivalent to the “jing ma”? “Yue ma” perhaps?

        With all the money around in Chinese football at the moment I’m sure there won’t be a problem in getting a “Xabi” for every team!

  2. Only Love Soccer

    02/04/2012 at 06:41

    “I thought about joining Shanghai, but when I visited there were so many people wandering around outside my hotel in pyjamas I thought I was in a city of sleep walkers.”

    – Well done.

  3. Rovert

    02/04/2012 at 12:14

    This is priceless…talk about lost in translation!

    • Yiddo Huayi

      02/04/2012 at 15:10

      You mean like “A leading Chinese business analyst, Gou Shi,…”?

      Good one Cameron me old China! So much cross cultural innuendo…

  4. Red_Dragon

    02/04/2012 at 14:02

    i still cant believe it…is it real???
    things r beginning to get hot in crazy China!!!

  5. Kevin Chan

    03/04/2012 at 10:48

    This is epically awesome. Well done.

  6. Lao Li

    03/04/2012 at 23:34

    i would love to see Xabi promoting Beijing Roast Duck…:p LOL

  7. JN

    06/04/2012 at 15:39

    Very good and funny article!

  8. DKB

    18/07/2012 at 18:37

    Is this still on?

    • DKB

      18/07/2012 at 18:42

      just actually read the article as opposed to the headline, oops

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