I should mention that the ubiquity of the “shabi” (or “SB” on the Internets) chant in China probably means the real translation should be “asshole,” as “cunt” seems to be on a different tier of offensiveness in American English. But I’ve chosen to go with the literal translation, just because. (In the interest of fairness, we should point out that if a star player arrived in Beijing, Guo’an fans here would chant “Shenhua SB” as well.)
Didier Drogba arrived in Shanghai yesterday. FC Shenhua fans went to the airport at 5 am to welcome him, and went nuts when his plane landed at 8 am. The former Chelsea star said he’s here to help Shenhua win a championship, ignoring the fact that Shenhua kind of sucks, currently ranked 12 of 16 in the standings.
Wild East Football was at Pudong Airport yesterday, and reports:
Shenhua supporters had been waiting for up to an hour and a half, virtually taking over the line 2 metro out to Pudong Airport, which takes around an hour to reach from the centre of Shanghai. They carried Ivory Coast Flags, Shenhua banners and custom made “Welcome to Shanghai” banners for the new king of Hongkou.
“Didier Drogba, la-la-la-la-la” and “Shenhua are champions” were some of the chants sung by the fans, who broke into a chorus of “Guoan SB” on several occasions to insult their old rivals who they play tonight in the China Derby.
Fan optimism is so cute. With Frederic Kanoute, the 2007 African Footballer of the Year, now in Beijing — wearing No. 11, just like Drogba in Shanghai — we think the China Derby has become all the more fascinating and intense.
Too bad Shenhua and Guo’an don’t play again this season. The two teams clashed last night for the second and final time, with Drogba in the stands. This Beijing fan is sad to report that Shenhua won 3-1, splitting the season series (Guo’an won 3-2 on March 16 in Nicolas Anelka’s debut). Highlights are here (YouTube, Youku). Incredibly, Guo’an — currently No. 3 in the Chinese Super League — has yet to win at Hongkou, Shenhua’s home stadium, so I suppose the result shouldn’t have been too surprising.