Arsene Wenger reckons if China has to match the standard of the European nations in soccer, it has to do much more than just landing the top players to its league.
As per Wenger, culture is more important than anything else as far as the future of the game in a country is concerned.
When the kids growing up see their parents’ passion for the game, that’s how they get attracted towards the game and they then pass on that passion and interest to their own kids and that shapes a culture.
If people are in love with the game, they will come and watch it every week. But, if there is no culture and people are coming to the stadiums just to watch some particular names because they are famous, it’s not going to carry on for a long period of time.
In the opinion of Wenger, a culture can’t be shaped overnight. It happens over the decades and centuries. But, regardless of whatever time it takes, the focus must be on shaping the culture and not just on bringing in great names.
Wenger recalled the time when the league system was set up in Japan in the early nineties and the buzz around it. It was no lesser than the buzz that is associated with China presently.
But, the Japanese League fell off after some early success and Wenger fears that China may go the same way in the absence of culture.
Wenger believes that it’s only after a decade or so that people can say with some surety which direction the Chinese league is going. Right now it’s only a start and even though it’s a highly promising start, it does not guarantee success in the long term.