Wang Shan story of Chinese women’s football queen (Part 5)

After the match, I signed with Gumi Sportstoto. In my first season playing in Korea, I was selected as the best player and also¬†the soccer betting websites predicted so. At that time, I played for three teams at the same time: Chinese women’s team, Chinese youth team and Gumi club in Korea. I traveled endlessly between the two countries, participating in many trainings. At that time, I was so happy. I’m so busy that I forget all my past sorrows. I feel recognized, respected. Maybe I have some talent.

It is not good to wear a three-team shirt. The intensity of the competition made my body unbearable. I have left ankle fracture. I told the club not to operate because I didn’t want to recover alone for a long time. I couldn’t live in Korea for too long, while not knowing Korean. But Gumi signed me one more season and wanted me to go to the operating table. I have to accept, then spend time recovering alone. I felt so lonely and had to make important decisions on my own. The pictures at that time showed how sad I was.

Playing abroad is not easy, so I soon returned to China to play Dalian Quyen Kien. But playing football in Korea is not as difficult as moving to Europe. It happened when I joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2018. Arriving in France, I felt like a kid, starting to learn everything again. The whole world is upside down. Once again I have to leave home, say goodbye again.

China and France differ a lot, not only in food and language. In China, we do everything together. I always have family or teammates around to help. In Paris, after going to the training ground, I went home. It was like I went to work. People live much more independently.

Wang Shan story of Chinese women’s football queen (Part 4)

In January 2013, I was first called up to the national team, at the age of 17. I went to the training team to prepare for the Big Four tournament. At that time, I didn’t have any confidence. But, the coach still trusted me and said that the team needed a player like me.

I trained pretty well until the tournament. In the first match against Canada, I was a substitute. When the game had 30 minutes left and the score was 0-0, the coach told me to change into the pitch. I was so worried I almost resisted the order. “Don’t let me in the yard,” I thought. I bring anxiety to the field. I could only run and chase the ball, I couldn’t think of anything. I almost never touched the ball. 20 minutes later, I was replaced.

In football, being substituted and replaced is rare. That usually means the player has been a major disappointment. We lost 0-1. After the battle, I went back to the hotel to take a shower and take a nap. I was too ashamed. The only positive thing was that I didn’t have to tell my family about the match. But the whole family knew, when the match was broadcast on national radio. With a country as densely populated as China, many people will definitely see my performance.

But this time, no one criticized me. Actually everyone said to me that I should not worry because this is just the first match. The coach said he still trust me. A few months later, I and the Wuhan Club members were trained in Korea, preparing for the Chinese Games. I played so well that I caught the eye of a coach there. He wanted to sign contract with me. It is so interesting to be concerned by a foreign team.