David Beckham Joins Sina Weibo, Is In Beijing, Maybe Still Thinks There’s Hope For Chinese Soccer

David Beckham on Sina Weibo
David Beckham arrived in Beijing yesterday, kicking off his second tour of China as soccer ambassador. (His first trip, in March, saw him hilariously whiff on a free kick.) The positive publicity couldn't have come soon enough, considering the Chinese national team's humiliating 5-1 thrashing at the hands and feet of Thailand's youth team on Saturday. What was one of the first things Becks did? Join Sina Weibo, of course. Check out his first post:

Chinese Fans In Uproar After National Soccer Team Loses 5-1 To Thailand

China loses 5-1 to Thailand 3
It's difficult -- it really is -- to say Chinese soccer has reached a "new" low, considering its history of match-fixing and utter, abysmal, unmitigated failure on the international stage (its only World Cup appearance coming in the year when two other Asian countries had automatic bids into the tourney). But after losing 5-1 to a mostly junior Thailand team on home turf on Saturday, more than a few fans are saying this is the bottom. "Disband the national team" has become something of a commonplace chant, as meaningless as "black whistle" when refs screw up, but the rallying cry attained something of a feverish tone of urgency on Saturday. Can it get worse? If so, it's only because we're talking about Chinese football here.

David Beckham, Global Soccer Ambassador, Arrives In Beijing

David Beckham in Beijing
David Beckham, China's first ambassador for soccer, arrived in Beijing on Wednesday morning to a, well, David Beckham welcome. Fans waited for hours for him to arrive to Shijia Hutong Primary School, where he played soccer in dress shoes and a butoned up shirt. He also kicked the ball around at the FC Guo'an practice facility. The above video is him arriving at the scene.

Kobe Bryant And The Lakers Will Play In China In October, While Messi And FC Barcelona Travel To Shanghai In August

Lakers and Barcelona to China
Good news sports fans: some of the planet’s top athletes are planning preseason tours to Beijing and Shanghai. Let’s start with basketball, the most popular sport this country by some metrics*. For the first time ever, the Los Angeles Lakers are coming to China. They’re slated to play the Golden State Warriors on October 15... Read more »

Lifetime Suspensions, Major Team Penalties For Those Involved In Chinese Soccer Match-Fixing

Dark cloud over CSL
The latest penalties in China soccer’s match-fixing drama have been a long time coming – several players, officials and referees were already sent to prison last year – but as announced Monday, they were still fairly significant. In summary: Shanghai Shenhua stripped of the 2003 league title Two teams docked 6 points each going into... Read more »

China Will Be Seeing A Lot More Of Manchester United After Latest Sponsorship Deals

Man U fans in China
Manchester United recently announced sponsorship deals with two Chinese companies, Wahaha and China Construction Bank (CCB), the latter of which will produce Man U-branded credit cards. Considering China is one of the largest growth markets for any business, it’s no a surprise that the 134-year-old club is looking to strengthen its presence here. There are... Read more »

Mario Balotelli Gets Genghis Khan Quote Tattooed On His Chest

Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli, the mercurial 22-year-old Manchester City striker, celebrated his first English Premier League goal of the season on Wednesday by getting a tattoo. (Note: tattoo may not be connected in any way with said goal.) And of course he went the half-Asian route, getting a tattoo of a (highly apocryphal but widely attributed) Genghis... Read more »

Fans Greet Manchester United At Shanghai Airport

Sir Alex Ferguson signs lucky fan's shirt
Manchester United landed in Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport just after midnight today and were greeted by hundreds of enthusiastic fans, according to the team’s website. This marks Man U’s first China trip since 2009, part of a wider effort to reach out to the Asian market. It shouldn’t surprise you to know that the Red Devils are... Read more »

Tianjin Llama Predicts The Shit Out Of Euro 2012

Llama
By RFH There’s a new Paul the Octupus in town. In China. And he’s a llama – no, not that kind. For some reason, and despite having fuck-all to do with Euro 2012, Tianjin Zoo is attempting to lure thrill-seekers to its no-doubt already white-knuckle zoological experience with a llama that can predict the actual... Read more »

“China’s Messi”? Watch This 12-Year-Old Soccer Prodigy

56.com video for those in China after the jump. Li Ming, a 12-year-old who plays on Qingdao’s Chengyang Experimental No. 2 Primary School, captured Chinese soccer fans’ attention recently with his ball-handling, passing, set-piece kicks, and lob shots over goalies’ heads. All the above can be seen the in embedded video, a game vs. Qingdao... Read more »

The Sports-As-War Metaphor Will Never Shine Brighter Than In This Euro 2012 Ad

Sports as war metaphor NOW TV ad
The black spume of incendiary waste. The drifting snowflake relics of plaster and concrete. The mangled spine of a charred Eiffel Tower, and eviscerated high-rises, and a manmade earthquake rocking our cradle of rubble upon which humanity slinks toward a final reckoning. And that's only the first 10 seconds of Hong Kong-based NOW TV's advertisement for this summer's UEFA European Football Championships. Did I mention the only thing that stands tall is the Euro 2012 trophy, glittering with the light of what can only be thermal radiation -- a nuclear flash?

Every Anelka Touch In His Chinese Super League Debut (And Every Goal From The ‘National Derby’)

Every Anelka Touch In His Chinese Super League Debut
The most expensive player in Chinese soccer history made his belated Super League debut yesterday in Beijing after sitting out last week's CSL opener with a knee injury. About 51,000 people packed Workers Stadium to see it. Even without Anelka, the 33-year-old striker nicknamed "Le Sulk" during his time at Arsenal, the game probably would have drawn massive interest, considering it was the National Derby, played between hated rivals Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Shenhua, and it was Beijing's home opener. But Anelka's presence, at the very least, piqued the attention of international media.

This Could Be The Dirtiest Soccer Foul Of The Year, And It Happened In A U12 Game In Hong Kong

Brutal
Via BadCanto, i.e. Dictionary of Politically Incorrect Hong Kong Chinese; Youku video for those in China after the jump The team in white is Kitchee, and they’re good. They beat the team in purple, ESF, 16-0 earlier in the year, according to the Youtube video above. But apparently ESF lied about the score, saying they... Read more »