Soccer in China

There’s a hilarious entry on a blog called Long Legged Fly about playing soccer in China. An excerpt:

> But the best part of this whole experience is that you cannot play soccer on this field without getting hurt. The ground is too hard. The ground is too slippery. The ground has too many divets and weird ditch like things that zigzag across it. Plus, the Chinese players are very grab-happy and kick-your-shins-happy. So essentially what the Chinese have done is invent something that yet again the world can imitate–an open-air factory that produces injuries. Playing here I have injured my groin, my wrist, my left ankle, my right ankle, a number of my toes, my shins, my face, as well as other parts of my body that I didn’t even know existed until I got them injured, such as my bozon and my kleptok.

Check out the whole thing.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Haha…. reminds me of the field (at Nankai University) near my apartment. Just recently (as in a week) they managed to cut down the five foot high weeds that had taken housing there, and now you just see the decrepit and worn-down goal posts. I could not imagine playing soccer there, or even running for that matter. It’s worse than cement…

    I wonder though, what is to that. Why do they kick and bite and scratch and bruise so easily in China?

  2. I only ever played one game of football in China, a ‘friendly’ that was anything but. Got pushed, tripped and jabbed so much and any slip up by our side [ie foreigners] was greeted with jeers and contemptuous laughter. Not worth it.

  3. Maybe if it rained and then froze over…. a hockey game would break out.

    It sounds like it would be entertaining to watch a match, especially if they could get some personalities similar to our football or basketball athletes exhibit in the USA.

    See you soon

  4. actually there are some great personalities that come to these games, including one guy named “frog” who is about the size of a small child and super-fast; as well as another guy who i nicknamed “glasses” and who plays the whole game like he’s on laughing gas. there’s also a lot of trash talking going on and, therefore, lots of fights. in fact, i’ve seen more fights over seven months on this field in china than i did over 11 years playing in the us.

    but i must say the whole experience is really a lot of fun and totally worth it, especially when the good players come out from their hiding places. you just can’t be too afraid of getting injured.

    also, john, thanks a lot for linking to my site.

  5. I played sports most all of my life. The roughest,toughest, basketball game I was ever in was with a group of Chinese at a church pick-up game in ShenYang. Elbows and knees become lethal weapons when they are sharp, skinny, and pointed.

  6. happy holidays, john… 🙂

  7. […] Legged Fly is at it again with his Onion-style articles. (This has been done before, most notably by the […]

  8. Whatever bad things can happen not only in China football field, others as well. It is a firce game as well as skill. Courtesy is not football. Better say it is a certain place, or a particular person.

  9. hello every one,
    i am from cameroona dn was trying to get registerd in any football team there in china . i was in japan where i played in a local site , but now i will love to play for anyteam in china,
    i am not yet a professional , was only a division 2 player in cameroon.
    can any one help me out.
    i will be staying in beijing. you can email me at
    i am a forward and a left winger.
    if that can help

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