Football interview with Premier League D.I.B. FC's captain, Qi (Chris) Zhou
Posted by Francois liot on Feb 15 2013 at 04:00PM PST
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Hope everyone enjoyed Chinese New Year festivities. For this new year of the Snake, a few words from a Snake himself and also member of one of the best Chinese amateur team in Shanghai (since U-Team FC back in 2009). Hip-Hop fan, a little narcissistic (cf. picture) but also a captain his team and SIFL committee can rely on, I’m naming controversial D.I.B. FC captain’s Chris (Qi) Zhou.
Question: To start, any words to say about coming Chinese New Year and the year of the snake?
Chris Zhou: This year is the Chinese Year of the Snake, and is my native year as well. For the New Year I wish that each SIFL team achieves its targets and of course my team especially with good scores. “Gong Xi Fa Cai”, good health and let’s enjoy playing football!!!
Q: Your image is sometime controversial in the SIFL? How you would describe yourself?
CZ: I have played in the SIFL for many years. In the past, maybe I was a little too young and not very mature in some aspects. I have to admit that probably some teams may not like me so much while my teammates and some other teams would probably think the opposite. I hate failure/defeat very much… so in every game, I try my best and push my team to win. Sometimes, while on the pitch and facing adversity, I have arguments with other players but it’s mainly related to excitement and emotions. It has always been in the attempt to help my team to win without any judgment or revenge feeling! If I have ever hurt anyone on the field, I would like to say sorry.
Q: What D.I.B. FC stands for?
CZ: Do It Better!!! D.I.B. is the abbreviation of “Do It Better”. Whether it’s about a football game, life or work, Do It Better!!!
Q: In 2011/2012 for your first season in the SIFL, you won 3 titles! What's your hope for 2012/2013?
CZ: Indeed, in our first year in the SIFL, we have been delighted to win 3 trophies (SIFL 1st Division Champion, SIFL Hebiguchi League Cup, SIFL Closing Tourney)! But the honor of the past is now history as we’re now competing in the Premier League. Only a few DIB players and I understood that it will be very difficult to keep the pace of last year and win the championship… As a result, we lost two games already but we’re still in the race. Hope also we’ll learn from that next season.
Q: Who is D.I.B.'s best player?
CZ: Very difficult question to answer… You need a team of a least 11 people for a game of football and one single guy cannot make it alone. In D.I.B. FC, team work is key and every player has its own characteristics such as: defensive skills, speed, aggressiveness, scoring ability etc… The DIB players have different task in a game, so in D.I.B. everyone is important and the best!
Q: How can people follow your team? Website, QQ, WeChat, renren?
CZ: Our team has a Sina Weibo official Blog.
Q: A team you like in the SIFL?
CZ: The French team, because it focus on team works and passing while not simply rely on physical strength and long pass like English team! I like also Azzurri (Italians)!
Q: A team you don't like in the SIFL?
CZ: Every team is different in its strength and playing style. No team I dislike.
Q: Why did you leave Beavers team after playing so many years for them?
CZ: I have played many years for the Beavers and till today, I am very grateful to Beaver United family and without them I may have never played in the SIFL. Although Beavers is probably not be the best team in the premier league, as a Chinese national, I have always been treated very well like a family and I am very grateful to Misha, Nick, Matthieu, Leeboy, Kendall and all the others... Even in the past when I went to a French professional club to test my skills, everyone give their blessing and supported me. Special thanks especially to Misha Bobylev (my Big Bro) when I told him I wanted to leave for DIB. It was actually very hard for me to make the decision… DIB FC owner, Tony Zhang, which I met in summer of 2011, was interested in SIFL’s good amateur standing and his goal was to prove that Chinese people can also play football well in an international environment. As my personality and character fit the Western style, he asked me to be DIB captain and helped the team join the SIFL.
Q: Which professional Chinese team do you support?
CZ: In Chinese Super League (CSL), as a Shanghainese I will always support Shanghai Shenhua F.C.
Q: Which national team do you support?
CZ: Since 4 years old, I always been a fan of Roberto Baggio and for him I will always support the Italian national team. Due to some special things, I have also interest in France and Brazil
Q: What do you think of Anelka and Drogba's recent departure?
CZ: I’ve been very happy they join Shanghai Shenhua F.C. but football also is a business. Anelka seems to have life adaptation problems and miss the western culture… I think he has not been able to truly understand the culture and thinking way of the Chinese people. Drogba, while 30+ is still very good and I understand the fact he’d like to play as high as possible. So I only wish him well!
Q: In D.I.B.'s SIFL page, you say that you want to "show that the Chinese can play football!!!" What do you think of Chinese football in general? What are the problems and what should be done to solve those problems?
CZ: I keep believing that in the future of Chinese football will also be able to nurture good player like “Messi” or “C.Ronaldo”. As a matter of fact, every parents in China can only raise one child and this child have the attention of the whole family. The living conditions of children in China are better than any country in the world. Any child will easily have whatever he asked and will rarely have to do any efforts on their own to get what he wants… Now, Chinese children have severe lack of sport exercise and for any small health issue, parents will forbid them to do any sport. In Chinese parents mind, football is a dangerous sport. In Shanghai there are many players in amateur level that could have been professional, but because of the reasons mentioned above they had to give up on their dream to become professional football players. To improve the situation, government must give real concern about youth football training and parents need to allow their child to do sport and enjoy the spirit and joy of football. Football is not just a sport, but also a lifestyle. Youth football is key and only way to give a future to Chinese football!
Q: I was wondering why so many Chinese teams are asking to join the SIFL league recently… Is there not any good Chinese amateur league in Shanghai beside the SIFL? If yes, what's the name of this league?
CZ: For other amateur competition there’s the Chen Yi Cup (Note: It’s a summer Cup in Shanghai which corresponds to the highest amateur level in Shanghai… Not easy to get in and register a team) In Chinese people mind, sport is still mainly seen as a body exercise… Fierce confrontation games such as in football are for sure raising complains and it takes everybody’s effort to comply with the rules and spirit of fair competition. So, we hope that D.I.B. will keep playing in the SIFL, and enjoy the play of true football!
Q: Any question I forgot to ask you?
CZ: We (DIB FC) would like to know what the other SIFL teams think of us. What we’re doing well or wrong… Anyone is welcome to tell and let us know as our goal is to get better and better!
CheersQi (Chris) Zhou
D.I.B. FC Captain
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