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WEF Exclusive: Rafa Jorda on Guizhou Renhe talent and their hopes for 2013

Rafa Jordá moved to China in 2012 from Levante UD off the back of spells at established Spanish sides Alicante and Numancia, winning the Segunda Division with the latter. At Guizhou Renhe, alongside fellow countryman Nano, he helped his side to the Chinese FA Cup final and Asia Champions League qualification for the first time in 2012.

Barring the opening game of the Chinese Super League season, a disappointing loss to Qingdao Jonoon, Guizhou Renhe have not tasted defeat when Rafa Jordá has turned out for the club in 2013. Jorda’s standing continued to improve with the winning goal in this weekend’s victory over Tianjin Teda.

Netting seven times last season, and with three in nine this term, Jordá is now well settled at the CSL side and he has nothing but praise for his team, who with some shrewd additions are very much in the running for the ACL spots again in 2013.

Here, Jordá shares his thoughts on Guizhou Renhe in a brief chat with Wild East Football.

Rafa, thanks for speaking with , can you tell us your thoughts on Chinese football right now?

It’s a good level of football and in recent seasons the clubs have been investing heavily in bringing people from outside. There are more foreign coaches, players, trainers and physical therapists. I think all of this has made Chinese football grow with some very large steps.

What is the Chinese talent like at Guizhou?

We are lucky to have very good Chinese players at Guizhou—our veterans like Sun Jihai and our captain Qu Bo, and also, some of those who are in and out of the national team under Camacho are great for us.

In the transfer window, Guizhou signed the co-captain of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national side, Zvjezdan Misimović from Dynamo Moscow. It must be excellent to have a player as experienced as Zvjezdan in your team, what impact has he had at Guizhou?

Clearly Zvjezdan is a very important player who will contribute much to Guizhou. He is technically outstanding but he must be given time to acclimatise to the new life here, it takes time for any player.

Zlatan Muslimović and yourself are key to goals in the CSL, why do you think you work so well together?

We are proud of the treatment by the fans, they help encourage us to score. The fans really like Zlatan and hopefully more goals will come between now and the end of the season.

How different are the fans at Guizhou to Levante UD?

The truth is that in China supporting football is a great hobby and people here are very passionate about it. Normally both sets of fans never stop cheering throughout the matches, the support is really great.

Realistically, where do you think Guizhou will finish this season?

In my personal opinion, I hope to finish in the top four and be able to qualify for the Asia Champions League again.

Any messages for the Chinese football fans?

I would like to thank all the Chinese fans for their treatment of me, I am very proud to represent Spanish football in China.

Pete is from Sheffield, England and came to China in 2008 initially living in Shenyang where he witnessed his first CSL game, Liaoning Whowin v Chengdu Blades. Pete is a fanatic Sheffield Wednesday fan but has picked up football allegiances from various trips, Galatasary in Turkey, Piacenza in Italy and Muangthong United in Thailand. In early 2009 he moved to Beijing and after a brief time started attending Guoan games regularly. Pete graduated in Journalism in the UK and has written for several educational publications on Chinese education for his day job as well as Chinese football for WEF which he wishes was more developed but avidly follows the Imperial Guards on their quest for CSL supremacy regardless.

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