Zhang Linyan: Absolutely no match for foreign players, you have to find the right way to hope to score goals in the World Cup
Shanghai, July 8th – Chinese women’s football international, Zhang Linyan, expressed her aspirations to score goals in the upcoming World Cup during a recent interview. Zhang, who has always dreamed of participating in the prestigious tournament since she was a child, acknowledged the challenges posed by foreign players but remained determined to find the right way to succeed.
Reflecting on her experience studying abroad, Zhang emphasized that it has made her more mature and self-reliant. Living overseas taught her to take charge of her daily life, including planning meals and managing her time effectively. Unlike being part of a team where doctors and trainers cater to the players’ needs, Zhang now understands the importance of self-care and taking initiative.
When asked about the influence of veteran players, Zhang highlighted their invaluable experience and knowledge. Even if they may be slightly injured or not as physically fit as before, their expertise and intuition on the field still make a significant difference. The older players also provide guidance on how to handle pressure and tension during the game, which has helped the younger players cope with the demands of high-level competition.
Zhang acknowledged her growth as a player since joining the national team last year. She now feels more responsible and hopes to make meaningful contributions to the team rather than merely following in the footsteps of her senior teammates.
Discussing the differences between training in China and abroad, Zhang emphasized the regularity of the training schedules overseas. In foreign clubs, there is a guaranteed game every Monday, allowing ample time for analysis of opponents and recovery after matches. However, Zhang acknowledged that China faces unique challenges due to its vast size and relatively short history of women’s football, which limits the availability of well-established club systems.
When comparing the playing styles of foreign and domestic players, Zhang noted that foreign players possess greater speed, efficiency, and physicality. She acknowledged the efforts made by Chinese women’s football to catch up in these aspects, attributing the progress to the existence of women’s teams affiliated with men’s football clubs.
In terms of facing foreign players on the field, Zhang admitted the difficulty of overpowering them physically. Instead, she emphasized the importance of finding the right tactics and timing to gain an advantage. Zhang believes her ability to accelerate quickly after stopping is an advantage that can be utilized against foreign opponents.
Zhang’s recent recognition as the winner of the Swiss Women’s Ballon d’Or brought her immense joy, as it represents not only the support from her teammates but also the recognition from opponents. Moving forward, Zhang expressed her hopes for the team to perform well in the World Cup and for her own contributions to the team’s success. She emphasized that scoring goals in the tournament has been a lifelong dream of hers.
In conclusion, Zhang offered words of reassurance to herself, stating that hard work will pay off. Looking to the future, she expressed a desire to continue persevering and maintaining the same level of bravery she possesses presently.
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