Original title: Naturalization is not about business
The Brazilian player Goulart, who played football for Guangzhou Evergrande Club for several years, became a Chinese citizen a few years ago. He first gave up his Chinese nationality and then announced his retirement. A 31-year-old former balloon star suddenly became a high-profile figure on the Internet. It is not only the media who are hyping this matter, but also various netizens have unabashedly drawn conclusions: “It means the failure of China’s football naturalization policy.”
The conversion of foreign players to Chinese nationality helps the development of Chinese professional football, and even helps the Chinese national team enter the World Cup and realize their football dreams. This matter is related to football and sports, and it also involves regulations and habits in many aspects such as diplomacy, law, culture, and economy. . Naturalization does not mean that if you want to do it, you can do it, but you must be able to do it well. I am so eager to make a conclusion, I am afraid that I have not thought about it carefully just like wishful thinking at the beginning.
The reform and opening up will face many fields and issues that have not been touched before, large and small, and not all of them have cases to follow. At the beginning, people agreed that economic and social reform should be “crossing the river by feeling the stones” and actively tried. Today, although we have made a lot of achievements in development, we still cannot forget that there are still many things that we don’t understand and have not done. Being active cannot be overheated. Caution does not necessarily mean that we must be thoughtful, and thinking in our hearts may not always succeed.
Football reform, of course, must learn from the common practice of international football, especially the successful experience of others. However, it is one thing to have a consensus on the direction, but another to do it concretely. Neither simplification nor absoluteness is advisable. Leaving aside, just look at the long-term lagging behind in Asian football. In recent years, there have been many successes in the rise of small and weak teams. , As a result, the Asian ranking of Chinese football fell outside the top ten. Among them, not all or all rely on naturalized players to determine the world.
In some discussions, the failure of naturalized players to play for the Chinese team is said to be “a waste of 800 million yuan.” Goulart performed well in overtime as a foreign aid, and also earned a lot of money that he had never received in the past. At that time, few voices questioned his high income. After seeing that the foreign aid failed to appear on the field after being naturalized, they criticized it for a big loss. If Goulart really helped the Chinese team score on the field, I wonder if the maker of this argument would say it was worth the money. Naturalization requires a certain cost, but it is definitely not a business.
In the final analysis, it is still necessary to clarify the purpose of naturalizing foreign athletes. Helping China’s backward sports to improve its strength is only one aspect. Even if the performance improves in the future, this road cannot be closed, and it will have an effect on promoting mutual understanding and cultural communication.
(Wang Dazhao, the author is a senior reporter of People’s Daily)