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Zhang Chengdong signs for Eintracht Braunschweig

Eintracht Braunschweig has announced that it acquired Chinese striker Zhang Chengdong, on loan for one year, from C.D Mafra.

Last season, Zhang was loaned to Beira-Mar in the Portuguese Superliga where he scored six goals in 26 matches. His agility and heading ability have been praised by the Portuguese media. Beira-Mar tried to purchase Zhang Chengdong on a permanent basis; however, Zhang wanted a new challenge and decided to ply his trade elsewhere.

Zhang mentioned to the media that there were many Spanish La Liga clubs that went for him, though they demanded he have his own commercial sponsor. Zhang said he’d rather use his ability than spending money to enter the Spanish league.

Zhang also mentioned that there was a Ukrainian football club and several Chinese clubs that tried to go for him, and they were offering high wage too. At the end, Zhang decides to stay in Germany because Shao Jiayi, who formerly played in Germany, told him “if you want to improve your football, go for Germany; if you want to get rich, go for China.”

Having stayed in Germany for few days, Zhang is enjoying the atmosphere at Eintracht Braunschweig. He mentioned “Eintracht Braunschweig is a club that is rich in football history, and the stadium is always full on matchday.”

“I wish to play in Bundesliga 1 someday, and I understand there are many Chinese footballers returning to China. I will stay in Europe for my football dream”.

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.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Yiddo Huayi

    03/09/2012 at 16:32

    So a Chinese striker has to go overseas (after being offered low pay) to get game time and prospers. Meanwhile foreign strikers milk the Chinese football scene.

    It’s like an Alanis Morissette song as recounted by Ed Byrne…

  2. BulaimeiShanghai

    04/09/2012 at 00:12

    Hopefully he gets playing time, right now Eintracht Braunschweig lie as surprise package at the top of the second Bundesliga. He did not make the squad for the match last weekend, but probably needs time to settle in. Eintracht Braunschweig were the first team in Germany to have a sponsor’s logo on the kit. It was Jägermeister, sometime in the 1970s…;-)

    • smari

      04/09/2012 at 04:57

      Zhang scored during as debut in a friendly; but yes, he will need some time to settle in the squad and get fit.

      • BulaimeiShanghai

        04/09/2012 at 09:48

        Wow, I couldn’t even get stats about this game…yeah it’s a long way, but if he gets the opportunity and the club wants him, he should have a serious chance in the set-up. Braunschweig’s manager has been around for a few seasons and the club seems to believe in continuity, so when they had their eyes on Zhang, they really wanted him. I hope he will fare well. I just remember Hao Junmin at Schalke and he had some games and I am sure his overall game improved as can be seen at Shandong but Schalke is changing their manager all the time and under Magath when Hao came to the club they had a totally overblown squad so he may never have gotten a serious chance. I wish Zhang gets a better opportunity and takes it! Good luck to him…

        • smari

          04/09/2012 at 12:20

          Zhang mentioned something interesting to the reporter:
          “I realize this team was doing very well last season. They were at the top, but suddenly dropped alot during the end of the season, this type of performance tells me that Braunschweig has good first team players and not-so-good subs. Even if I play as a sub, I will have the chance to play my way up”.

          When the reporter asked Zhang if he comes to the team just to be a sub, Zhang replied:”I wouldn’t be here just to sit on the bench”.

  3. BulaimeiShanghai

    19/09/2012 at 07:23

    Zhang came on in the 75th minute during a league match. So far Braunschweig has won all five games of the season and managed to progress to the next round of the cup.

  4. Jahn

    21/09/2012 at 17:14

    Just read that the coach is pretty satisfied with Zhangs perfomances in training, test games and his first league match. Braunschweigs coach is known to be pretty loyal to the players he knows and worked longer with, but it seems like Zhang was a player he really wanted. When the first striker keeps on missing the goal (like he did the first 5 games, even though they won each of them), he will surely get his chance in the starting eleven.
    Also, the German media seem pretty confident about his qualities.

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