Tiger Fight, September 26, Xinhua News Agency today released an interview with Benitez entitled "A Champions League Champion Coach Who Knows Chinese Football". It talked about the youth training of Chinese football, big data and family members during the epidemic. Contact and other issues.
The full text is as follows:
There are hundreds of foreign teachers coaching Chinese football, but it is rare that Rafael Benitez accurately diagnoses Chinese football problems and expresses them publicly.
Benitez is a recognized "ball fan" in world football. In an exclusive interview with a reporter from Xinhua News Agency, he told a story about his obsession with football when he was young.
"At that time I was coaching at Real Madrid Football School. At the end of the first half of a game, my team was behind 0:1. I walked to the locker room contemplatively. My parents and sister were standing in the middle of the road in front of me. They walked by but didn’t see them. When they got home, they gave me a lesson. Hehe.” Thinking back to the past, the 60-year-old Benitez laughed like a child, seeming to temporarily forget the Dalian native he coached. The team had just been killed by Guangzhou R&F in overtime the day before, and almost missed the troubles of the Chinese Super League championship group.
Later, on the evening of September 24, the Dalian native lost 1:3 to Shenzhen Kaisa and suffered two consecutive defeats and missed the second stage of this season's championship competition in the Super League.
But he needs to worry about more than the Dalian team in the Super League. Wanda Group invited the coach who led Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League in 2005 to China, not just for him to lead the first-tier teams to the Super League. He is responsible for a project to revitalize Dalian football, which requires a deep understanding of players of all ages. Therefore, after coaching for a season and a half at the Dalian People’s Club, the Spaniard, who has been obsessed with football since childhood, knew that Chinese children could not both play and study, knew that Chinese players were too late to accept football enlightenment, and knew where the problems with Chinese football youth training were. He knows the importance of cultivating excellent Chinese coaches. He knows that Chinese football should not blindly imitate Europe, but needs to learn from its Asian neighbors. He knows that changing Chinese football takes time and cannot be accomplished overnight.
Shakespeare said that the wisdom of the head is like a spark in the flint and steel, and it will not come out unless it is hit. Through one and a half seasons of research, Benitez found that a serious flaw of Chinese players lies in their lack of "game intelligence"-they can't play smartly because they haven't got the right "beat" since they were young.
He said: "What I call game wisdom is that players can be aware of what is happening around the arena and know how to make the right decision to deal with it. This is quite difficult in China."
What Benitez calls "game wisdom" is what we call "ball quotient". Benitez believes that the reason for the lack of intelligence of Chinese players in the game is that they are too late in contact with football and play too little. He said: "In Europe, you started playing football at the age of six or even earlier. When I was a kid in school, from 11 am to 11:30 am and from 2 pm to 4 pm, we would play football on the school playground. , There must be hundreds of children playing. Those older children have a great advantage in height, we children have to use our brains to find ways to fight against them. When I entered Real Madrid football school, I was still a child, but already I have played football for five or six years and know the basics of football. Now many of these Chinese players only started playing at the age of twelve or three, six or seven years later than in Europe. In six or seven years, how much can you learn."
In China, players only learn the football knowledge we knew when we were young when they were 18, 20 or 21 years old. too late! In China, a player is still a young player at the age of 23, but in Europe, a young player refers to a player between the ages of 17 and 20. There is a huge gap between the two. "He said.
He believes that the Chinese players' football enlightenment is insufficient, and the slightest miss is a thousand miles away, resulting in a huge gap between the later and European players. He said: "To coach a Chinese team, you realize that you need to start with those simple things. If you coach a Spanish U18 team and you say'Overlap', the players understand what it means. You don’t have to repeat, they know how to do it. But in China, you have to start with these (simple) things. Some players learn fast, some take more time, and you have to keep teaching them."
The reporter asked him: "You must do something that the original youth coach should do when you coach the team now?"
He replied: "I didn't mean to criticize anyone, but it is true."
Benitez pointed to a major existing problem in Chinese youth football training: the quality is not high. With the popularization of campus football, the Chinese football population will grow rapidly, but if there is no high-quality youth training, even if the football population is large, it is difficult to train high-quality players.
The competition on the football field is the quality of the players, not the number of the football population. Now Chinese football is facing an important challenge: to transform quantity into quality, it is necessary to solve two problems: the talent channel of campus football and the quality of youth coaches.
The reporter told Benitez: Now Chinese children are faced with the choice of playing football and studying when they reach junior high school. They can only choose one of the two.
He said: "We also discussed this issue in our internal meeting today." He believes that Chinese campuses must be well designed so that those who play football can also go to college, and that "students who study well can also play well." Of course, this also requires those who play football to work harder than ordinary students.
Benitez himself used to be a good student who could play football. He said: "When I was in the first year of university, I majored in physical education and medicine, and I was also a member of the Real Madrid U18 team. I have to go to class in the morning, train in the afternoon, and go out to play with the team on weekends. I found that the three cannot be balanced. , I had to give up medicine. But while playing football, I went to university and completed my studies in 5 years. In Spain, you can do this. But you have to get up at 4 in the morning and get up early and return late."
"I know this is difficult in China. But if the school can take the right measures, I believe that some students can do it. I am not saying that they can do it all, but there must be students who are willing to do so. Such students can become China in the future Excellent coach of football."
Benitez believes that China's football youth training must first start with cultivating new types of coaches with advanced knowledge and concepts, send coaches to developed countries in football to learn, encourage players to play abroad, and prepare for future coaching.
"You need coaches. There are three or four excellent coaches in China. That is not enough. You need hundreds of youth training coaches who go abroad to study and come back to train coaches. Slowly, you will have thousands of excellent coaches, which means Both the children playing and the youth players can be improved under their training." He said.
He believes that there are not many Chinese players who can gain a foothold in the top five European leagues. "You still need time to do this, because the level (of the five major leagues) is too high. The Spaniard's Wu Lei is a good player, but his team is downgraded. You need more players to play abroad, you can Play in the second-tier league. These players can return to China to be coaches in the future."
Benitez suggested that Chinese football learn from its Asian neighbors. He said: "Spain, England, Germany and other European countries are very different from China. You'd better analyze Asian football genres and learn from the experience of those who have succeeded."
Opposite the team hotel in Dalian is the Wanda Youth Training Base, where the team can train. The reporter found that only the Dalian team had been training in the morning.
Benitez said that the team initially complained about the morning training. "They said,'No! No! We want to practice in the afternoon, because the Chinese team is training in the afternoon.' But you have to help them develop good habits. In the morning training, you have to eat breakfast, then start training, and then eat After lunch, you can rest and fall asleep early after dinner to prepare for the morning training the next day. This is a virtuous circle and a positive habit. Good diet and work and rest will cause a big gap. This is in Europe Very common, but in China, you have to teach them." He said.
Benitez built the Dalian team into the most capable team in the Super League. He said that this is the result of scientific training. Big data is indispensable.
Benitez said that when he coached Real Madrid's 16-year-old team, he began to use computers to analyze big data. He now has his then players in his coaching team, 47 years old this year. According to this calculation, he has used data to analyze football for at least 31 years.
He believes that analyzing and using data requires specialized skills and professionals. "Big data is very popular now, and many companies are doing it. But the important thing is not how much data you collect, but how you use it. I have a very good team, and they work hard to analyze the players' body fat, glucose content and other data , So that we can control the training of each player while training in the gym. We know how and how much each player should practice. The data plus our experience allows us to design each training session well and let the players Get good training. Every time we train with a reasonable design, the players will feel better and better, and then they will be more willing to train. This is why our team has a lot of physical fitness. The only thing we can hardly improve is the speed of the players. , This is genetically determined." He said.
Benitez believes that the team's physical fitness is a good thing, but if there is a lack of experience in the game, it is sometimes difficult to win. At the beginning of this season, the Dalian native won six rounds of the Super League and then five rounds unbeaten. However, he suffered a losing streak in the next two rounds to determine the ranking, exposing his lack of experience.
"I think our players run a lot and have this ability. This is good. But sometimes you need experience to save running distance and be in the right position at the right time." Benitez said.
The Dalianers scored the first goal many times in the game, but could not keep the victory at the last minute. Benitez believes that the Dalian team's physical fitness and attitude are very good, but unfortunately lack of experience, leading to some defeats in the game. Through calculations, he found that in some key matches, the Dalianers had fewer fouls in the final stage than their opponents. He said: "Those experienced players will stop the game at the last moment and slow down the pace of the game in one way or another. They have time to deploy defenses. We currently lack such players. In a comparable game, experience can Help you win. If you lack experience, you will tie or lose that game."
Failure is the mother of success. Benitez said that he doesn't mind that players make mistakes. That is the price they must pay to increase their experience and wisdom.
"The signal from our coaching staff is very clear. We don't care if they make mistakes. Players must understand and dare to continue trying. You can see them growing. I am sure that in two or three years they will make great progress. These young players are The future of Chinese football. You have to make them dare to keep trying, even if they make mistakes. If they are afraid of making mistakes, they will not improve. This is the only way to learn and is part of football." He said.
He believes that a team must find a balance between youthful vigor and old experience in order to succeed.
He said: "Young players are full of vigor and will infect everyone on the team, but they need experienced players to control the situation. Kneading them together reasonably is the key to success."
On September 23, Benitez received the 20th nucleic acid test. The new crown epidemic has changed human lives. The Chinese Super League was forced to change to a tournament system. Benitez has lived for more than 70 days in the "Blue Zone" of the Dalian Division, which is isolated from the outside world.
"I'm very happy to be able to live safely. I'm not happy to live here for so long." He said, "But, you know we have to adapt. The first phase is almost over. We are playing in a safe environment. The ball. I told my family that I am safe here and we can play."
Benitez's wife and daughter are in Liverpool, England. Due to the new crown epidemic, Benitez was unable to reunite with them in China, and could only wait until midnight and the British morning to contact each other.
Benitez's wife originally planned to live in Dalian in April this year, but was unable to do so due to the epidemic.
"China is easier to control the epidemic, and the situation in Europe is more complicated. At the beginning there was still the possibility of control. Now people there say they have lived in a closed state for too long and want to be free, so more people are infected." Benitez said.
He believes that the Chinese Super League system of the tournament system is not good for the inexperienced young team like Dalian. He said: "A team like ours needs more time to coach players between games. Now we have to play a game every three days and we have no time to adjust. Obviously, you play so many games in so many days. In the game, injuries will increase."
"This is not ideal, but we must accept it." At this point, he frowned. Like everyone, Benitez feels helpless in the face of the epidemic changing his lifestyle.