Interview: Bayern to search Chinese market to find new talent

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By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, July 27 (Xinhua) — Bayern Munich is set to intensify its efforts to find Chinese football talents.

In a recent interview with Xinhua, the club’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced that his club would investigate football in China closer to look for suitable players.

“We are ready to sign players from China and are very much looking forward to it,” the 1974 world champion commented.

The 64-year-old said it would be fantastic to see Chinese footballers play in the German record-holding champion team jersey.

Past efforts to find top-class players have failed, Rummenigge added, but the Bavarian side hasn’t lost its confidence to succeed over the upcoming years.

Presenting the 2020 “Audi Digital Summer Tour,” the club boss said Chinese fans’ dedication to digital content on social media channels had encouraged the reigning German champion to expand its digital outreach.

“We have many different markets. Wanting to be close to our fans in China in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is our obligation to be more active on social media,” said Joerg Wacker, Bayern board member for international development and strategy.

Until August 2, the 2013 treble winner delivers additional content to its over 4,500 fan clubs (over 350,000 members) such as live streams of training, the test match against Marseille, interviews and highlight shows.

Rummenigge said he is optimistic his side can be successful in this season’s Champions League campaign, played in a final round tournament in Lisbon from August 12 to 23.

Bayern is crossing swords in its last-16-round duel’s second leg against Premier League side Chelsea on August 8. The German can count on a 3-0 lead out of the first leg.

The former German international demanded FIFA to rethink the decision to skip this season’s Ballon d’Or due to the pandemic. “I intend to call FIFA president Gianni Infantino to talk to him about that. After all, it’s FIFA that is running the campaign.”

Only the French league was canceled due to the pandemic, he said. As all other leagues continued after a break, “it would make sense to get on with the election,” the former striker emphasized.

Rummenigge said Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski deserves to get the chance to win the competition as he “is maybe delivering the best season of his entire career. He is doing a brilliant job.”

The Polish forward scored 11 goals in six Champions League games.

Rummenigge accused UEFA of having missed an excellent opportunity to use the financial fair play rules to help football get back to more reasonable and balanced procedures.

Manchester City recently overturned a two-year ban from European club competitions from UEFA by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The club was accused of having broken current rules of the financial fair-play rules.

Rummenigge said the trial hadn’t been prepared for well enough by UEFA.

The Bayern official demanded a change of the rules as “we need to modify the wording and get back to its original intention to force clubs to keep income and spending in balance.”

Football has changed dramatically over the past decade, he added. “We need to find modern tools to keep things in balance.”

Football clubs need to see rules as the basis for the future of the sport. “We need a solution all involved can confirm and live with. We need to get agents, players, and clubs behind the line,” Rummenigge said.

Rummenigge said he is happy for his friend, coach Pep Guardiola, as “he can be part of next season’s competition.”

The Bayern boss also said he is not optimistic regarding a salary cap for players, as the intention doesn’t seem to meet with European working laws. Enditem

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