Liu Ailing Interview - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old January 9th, 2001, 01:53 Thread Starter
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Liu Ailing, WUSA's latest signing from China, has always been my favourite player. Perhaps we are both midfielders, or perhaps we both ended up traveling all our lives Well here's an old interview by (circa 1999?) I thought you may be interested to read. Let me know what you think about this.

Liu Ailing is China's star midfielder. Although she wears the prestigious #10, she can often be mistaken for a forward. Born on 5-2-67 and a veteran of two World Cups as well as the 13th Asian Games in Bangkok, Liu is the senior member of the Chinese national team. It has been said that Liu like another famous #10 (Pele), has an amazing ability to sense where each player is positioned on the field throughout the course of the game. Her flexibility and blinding speed enable her to blast past defenders and score, using either leg. She is also a superior playmaker able to see several moves ahead In China she plays for the prestigious Beijing team.

Interview with Liu Ailing by

Q: How did you began your career playing soccer or were you chosen to play as was Gao Hong?

A: I started playing for fun and one of the women soccer coaches picked me out during my childhood

Q: What has playing soccer done for you . How has the sport impacted on your life?

A: It has really changed my life. Being a soccer player brings me lots of happiness and glory. I have had an opportunity to do many things that common girls [such as myself] are unable to do.

Q: Are you married and how does soccer fit into your married life?

A: I just got married recently however for the past two years I have had to concentrate on the big events such as this World Cup.So it has been difficult.

Q: As you will have participated in three (3) World Cups what would you say was your most exciting moment except of course getting married (laughter)

A: The Olympics held here in the United States in 1996 was a very exciting moment. I really enjoyed the crowd and the excitement

Q: What in your opinion is the most significant strength and weaknesses of the USA team?

A: They are a very active aggressive team however it's hard [for me] to say what there weaknesses are.

Q: What do you consider to be the most significant strengths of you team?

A: We are very flexible and have very fast speed.

Q: How many hours a day do you practice, and are you on any type of special diet?

A: We practice around four hours a day and eat common food.

Q: What is your favorite food?

A: Baked or roasted duck.

Q: Have you tried Mc Donald's here?

A: Mc Donald's is so so, but I really like Pizza (laughter).

Q: How significant is it that children becoming involved in this particular sport. How do you see children benefiting and would you encourage your own child to become involved?

A: It is very difficult for a kids to play soccer in China. However if I did have a baby girl and the environment [in China] was like the one here in the USA I would encourage her to play. However it would depend on the interest of the baby. But for boys, I would definitely encourage my son or any boys to play soccer.

Q: Is there a difference in playing on your league team in China as opposed to the national team?

A: Playing for the league team the goal is to improve one's team record and ranking. . But when you play for the China national team it is a different feeling because you are representing your entire country.

Q: Is there anything that you would like for the world to know upon reading this article?

A: I wish that people world wide would give more support to the development of women's soccer.

Q: Do you have a favorite soccer player male or female.

A: I would have to say that I admire Michele Platini specifically for his level of awareness during play. But I must say that I really don't admire any female players [laughter].

Q: What has soccer given to you.

A: Thanks to soccer I have had a chance to travel all over the world. It is not something as I said that every girl can do. Soccer is not only a physical experience for me. It has also been a spiritual and psychological experience. It has taught me how to look at winning and losing. This experience is actually a growth process. When you are at the very early stages of your career you generally pay more attention to just winning the game. You really want to win. But now as a veteran I concentrate on the process of winning. So in this case during the game I adjust my psychological and mentality. This also decreases nervousness.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old January 9th, 2001, 15:57
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Of particular interest is Ailing's observation that boys are more encouraged than girls to play soccer in China. It makes you realize that the same is probably true in most countries. It also underscores the amazing achievement of the Chinese womens team in becoming a world contender!
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old January 11th, 2001, 02:20 Thread Starter
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A very thoughtful post, giglio, thanks

It's unfortunate that most women players [worldwide] often feel that soccer is not an appropriate profession for them. Once again we are going back to the methods of upbringing, or, simply put, class vs. choice.

Take for instance the Italian League. While the men were traded over unrealistic sums of transfer fees, most of the women in the League still have to hold full time jobs at offices or factories to make ends meet.

In the U.S. similar problems exist. When she was asked to talk about how did she feel being the first black player in the National Team, Briana Scurry bluntly told the reporter that "it is hard to find perfectly mowed lawns in the slums of Minneapolis [Scurry's hometown]."

One of the five Chinese players were bought by the WUSA for less than US$8,000., a fancy computer system costs more than that ... but life goes on.

When Sun Wen was nominated for the 1999 Player of the Year award by Fifa, she almost declined, saying "those prizes were for men." It is not a twisted sense of humility. Just conditioning and years and years of hardship. I am glad we fans voted for her as Player of the Century.

Whenever I played a good game and when I scored, I always think about that.
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