What is your impression of China? Can you use chop sticks? Do you speak Chinese?
For too long the foreign football player in China has been subject to the same questions from interviewers and we at Wild East Football intend to remedy this situation by asking four players the questions that you the readers need to know the answers to most!
Joining us are Leandro Netto, 33 of Hunan Billows who has near five years in China, Ryan Griffiths, 31 of Beijing Baxy who was part of Beijing Guoan’s title winning side, Ibán Cuadrado, 34 of Shanghai East Asia who just moved to China and last but by no means least, Rostyn Griffiths, 25 of Guangzhou R&F who is currently in his second CSL season.
How many kick ups could you do if you were only allowed to count them in Chinese?
Rostyn Griffiths: Embarrassing to say only 4
Ibán Cuadrado: Less than 10
Leandro Netto: 10
Ryan Griffiths: Probably one million, I can count quite well
What is your most impressive Chinese phrase?
Leandro Netto: Neituo, Jiayou! Hahaha (Let’s go Netto)
Rostyn Griffiths: Nihao Maidan (Hello bill please)
Ryan Griffiths: Women Yiqi Qu Chi Fan (Let’s go eat together) or Ni Shi Nong Min (You’re a farmer) the other players like that one because in Australia being a farmer is a good job to have
Ibán Cuadrado: Mei guanxi and Xiexie (No problem and thank you)
Estimate how many fans in your home country understand that you have a different name in Chinese?
Ryan Griffiths: Probably just my family and friends
Leandro Netto: Definitely no one!
Rostyn Griffiths: I reckon not one person would know I have a different name. Even in China I have heard my name said in about ten different ways!
Ibán Cuadrado: Very few, probably no-one
If you could take one thing from China that would work well or you would like back home, what would it be?
Ibán Cuadrado: One tea set with a good Chinese tea
Leandro Netto: Chinese style rice
Rostyn Griffiths and Ryan Griffiths: Electric bikes!
What are your opinions on Chinese transportation, particularly flight delays and cancelations?
Rostyn Griffiths: I think the metro system and train systems are very good. However the flight delays are very annoying I don’t think we have ever taken off on time. Luckily we’ve never had a cancellation yet, famous last words!
Ryan Griffiths: I catch a cab with a Romanian player every day to training and we have a difficult time explaining where to go and they need every little detail which can be frustrating. Obviously the traffic in Beijing is not the best either!
Leandro Netto: Tolerable considering the Chinese population
Ibán Cuadrado: Good for now and only a few delays but this is also a normal thing in Spain.
What is the largest amount of people you have seen on a two wheeled vehicle in China?
Ryan Griffiths: Five; in Liaoning, the mum, dad, kid squashed on the front handlebars, mum holding a baby too and a kid behind her on the back of the seat too, really funny watching that!
Leandro Netto: Four; the moto driver, me, my wife and my daughter hahahahaha
Rostyn Griffiths: Our training ground is an hour outside the city in a very small town and motorbikes seem to be the best method of transport there. I’ve seen five people on a motorbike; two adults and three children, was amazing!
Ibán Cuadrado: Four but I am still new to China, still time to see more!
Who in your team has the greatest banter?
Leandro Netto and Rostyn Griffiths: Me!
Ryan Griffiths: Lu Jiang, one day the smog wasn’t the best and I gave my sports mask a go because of all the Beijing pollution and he started calling me Suarez because I couldn’t bite anybody.
Ibán Cuadrado: Among the foreign players there are a lot of jokes, there would be more if I could talk to the Chinese staff better!
In one word, explain China…
Ryan Griffiths: Different
Leandro Netto: Amazing
Rostyn Griffiths: Unique
Ibán Cuadrado: Surprising
Finally, tell Wild East Football readers a surprising fact about yourself in relation to China…
Leandro Netto: Henan Jianye’s fans cheering for me, even though I was on an opponent’s team, that definitely wouldn’t happen in Brazil.
Rostyn Griffiths: I love pretty much all the Chinese food
Ibán Cuadrado: I love the village I live in, Chongming. Just watching the traffic is so surprising as there are no problems when driving between cars, buses, motorcycles, bikes, a lot of people crossing the roads all the time, it’s really fascinating madness.
Ryan Griffiths: I’m signed up to Weibo, Chinese Twitter, and I am roughly growing 5,000 fans per day, currently on over 110,000 followers. The fans are fanatical over here and it’s definitely not the same as Australia.