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Real Madrid in China: the View from the Middle Kingdom

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This must be good for Tianjin's morale, right? ... Right?
This must be good for Tianjin's morale, right? ... Right?

I'm not in China. In fact, I've never been. I wish I was, and I wish I had, but I'm not, and I haven't. My dad is, though, and he pointed me in the direction of China Daily, the main English-language Chinese newspaper. Upon inspection, I realized that they had a significant amount of coverage of Real Madrid's (and other teams') preseason tours in China and the far east generally.

So I figured I'd bring you some of their coverage in snippet form, just for us to get a taste of how our boys are perceived out east. But first, here's a video courtesy of a big-time CR7 fan's youtube channel, that shows Chinese fans frantically invading the pitch, and then starting a fist fight in the stands after Kaká chucked his jersey up there:

I'm glad to see that this affections jives so well with the coverage in China Daily:

World elite follows money trail to Asia
SINGAPORE - The world's soccer elite is jetting into Asia for a promotional blitz targeting a swathe of booming cities as teams vie for a bigger slice of the region's growing wealth. (Wait, this doesn't sound particularly loving! Well, at least there's always the next one...)

Real Madrid begins its infiltration of China |Sports| chinadaily.com.cn
GUANGZHOU, Guangdong - Real Madrid isn't missing any tricks in its attempt to make inroads in China. (Hmm. This one isn't that flattering either. What's going on here?!)

Touring for fun and profit |Weekend Extra| chinadaily.com.cn
International teams have set their sights on the lucrative China market during the offseason and are reaping the benefits, but is it good for the local game? (What? How could it not be good for the local game? Oh, right, that's because we come in and pillage their morale by destroying their best teams by a combined score of 13-1 over two games all while putting their players at risk of injury!)

Companies hope soccer match gives images a big kick
The Spanish giant Real Madrid is also in China this week for a commercial tour and promotional rallies in two Chinese cities. Xu Jiayin, a real estate tycoon who owns China's richest soccer club, reportedly paid 10 million yuan to invite Real Madrid players to attend his own business rallies. "Chinese companies usually pay double the price than their foreign counterparts in introducing a world-class event," said Feng Tao, general director of Hejun Sports Management. (That's good, at least we can make the richest people in China happy!)

Casillas starts charity tour in China
BEIJING - Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas said in Beijing on Wednesday the development of teenage soccer in China was key to the nation becoming a major player on the world stage. (FINALLY! Some actually good press. And it's all thanks to our galáctico from Móstoles, the World Cup Hero, the great Iker Casillas. I think we should build him a statue. At least a monument or something. Who's with me?)