GOLD COAST, Australia: When talking about the next year’s France Women’s World Cup, Wang Shanshan, ace striker of Chinese women’s football team, raised her head suddenly from her cell phone and began to be serious and ambitious.
“We will do our best in each step,” she said. “We will survive the group stage, enter the elimination round and finally fight for the title.”
Chinese women football team is now ranked fifth in Asia, and 15th in the world. For next year’s World Cup, the Chinese team was placed in Group B, along with South Africa, two-time world champions Germany, and rising contenders Spain.
But Wang noted that no matter which group they are in, the road will not be an easy one.
“With the popularization of women’s football, no team could be conquered easily,” she said. “What we can do is try to improve ourselves and do our best.”
“Last time we are among the top eight,” she said. “If we would like to progress step-by-step, this time we should at least make to the semi-final. Of course, for each team, the ultimate goal is the final. The stronger your opponent is, the more motivated you will be.”
During the past four years, Wang has had four head coaches. Talking about the current coach Jia Xiuquan, she said that Jia brought great change to the team.
“We are now quite clear about what we should do,” she said. “He is quite strict, with his own set of tactics. He can always see our problems from details and emphasize a lot on team work.”
Four years ago, Wang, at Canada World Cup, appeared quiet and shy. But this time the short-haired footballer is more talkative. After encounters with traditionally strong teams like the United States and Germany, Wang is more confident now.
Wang said she is more mature now, even though she still likes to play video games on her cell phone.
“I am 28 already and no longer a child,” she said. “This year is quite an eventful year. But next year I will do much better. We must do our best in each and every match, so as not to let down those who support us.”