... conducted just before WC99 and considered one of the classics
Sun Wen is one of the most remarkable female players that China (if not the world) has ever produced. She has incredible vision and awareness. Combined with tremendous skill and almost superhuman speed she is able to leave defenders standing in their tracks as she races to the net to score with either leg. With her back to the net she is able to turn, pass or shoot to score with unrivaled accuracy. Many has stated that her ability far eclipses that of the America's Mia Hamm who has scored more international goals than any other player on earth. Wen who speaks both Mandarin and English would like to become involved in a women's league when it is established in the US. A fan of American music particularly Whitney Houston, Sun Wen is willing to sing a few lines of "I'll Always Love you" if asked at the right time.
Exclusive Interview with Sun Wen
Why did you choose to play soccer?
Well I have a very active personality and I like to play soccer for fun. My daddy's a soccer fan so in the beginning I received enthusiasm for the sport from him. He always watched the men play soccer so always being with him influenced me with regard to choosing and playing that sport..
Which men's team did you admire the most besides China and why?
I admire England's national team because of the method of play. The English Premier league is fantastic to watch for soccer fans. The way they play is very simple and practical. It is a very enjoyable to watch English teams. My favorite premier league team is Manchester United. The performance of Manchester United as a team is actual better than the performance of the English national team. When I did an interview prior to the men's World Cup I predicted that England would win. On the other hand, Brazil's individual player skills are very strong. The Brazilian style of play is very gentle not so aggressive. The Brazilians place so much emphasis on skill. In terms of the performance of individual players I admire the Brazilians. Rivaldo is my favorite as well as Roberto Carlos. I particularly enjoy watching his [Roberto Carlos's] free kick It is similar to my own. [laughter].
On a more serious note, what do you consider to be the strengths and weaknesses of the USA Women's national team?
The USA Women's team is a very strong, attacking team. The speed of each individual player is very fast. It's is also a very self confident team. They have so many strong points however their strength shows in their attack.
How do you believe China will beat the USA this time?
It's the coach's business not mine to think about that. What is important to me is to focus on my performance during the game. Winning or losing is not as important as remaining focused. That is my concern.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not playing soccer?
There is nothing else but soccer. [laughter]
What do you believe are the benefits of children playing soccer.
I believe that children should begin at a very early age. I started playing when I was 11 and at 13 began standard training.
How do you handle the fame of being one of the best players in your country and in the world.
First of all, this event is not so popular in China. The excitement here is much more than in China. I really admire the crowds and the children that come to the games here in the USA for a woman's soccer game. Those kinds of crowds don't exist for the women's game in China.
What do you believe it will take for the woman's game to become more popular in China and the world?
This 3rd World Cup will have a profound impact on the development of women's soccer. So many people are watching the games on television. This will help the sport greatly. The fans in China [and the world] will know how popular the sport is here in the USA. In essence I believe that this 3rd World Cup will excelerate the rate of growth of the sport on a world wide level.
What is the leading women's league team is China why is that team the most successful?
The leading team at this time is Shanghai and the reason is it the leader is because I am on the team [laughter].
Is there a difference for you in playing on your league team as opposed to the national side.
The pressure for me is basically the same. Shanghai is where soccer is most popular for women's soccer.
What is your educational background.
I have attained a degree in language, specifically Mandarin and I am attempting to gain my masters degree. However due to competitions I have had to delay my studies. After my playing career, I will resume my studies. I would like to study here in the USA.
Do you have any message for the USA team and in particular your counterpart Mia Hamm?
Are you sure Mia will see this website? [laughter].[/b]
Yes, I think so.
Hi Mia ...we will meet at the finals game of this World Cup. We too (China) have very good performers at this World Cup. I would like to extend you and your country a sincere greeting on behalf of my country.