Shao se­lected as Bun­desliga am­bas­sador

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By CHINA DAILY

Former Chi­nese in­ter­na­tional mid­fielder Shao Ji­ayi, who had an im­pres­sive ca­reer in Bun­desliga, was named one of the am­bas­sadors of the Bun­desliga Le­gends Network, which was launched by the league on Mon­day.

The BLN con­sists of nine pop­u­lar ex-pro­fes­sion­als who will serve as brand am­bas­sadors for the Ger­man league in its key tar­get mar­kets of China, the United States, Mex­ico, Ghana, Ocea­nia, South Korea and Brazil.

Shao started his soccer ca­reer with Bei­jing Guo’an in 1999. Af­ter play­ing in the 2002 World Cup, he signed with 1860 Mu­nich, where he spent four years. Af­ter 58 games with 1860, Shao joined En­ergie Cot­tbus in 2006 and ap­peared in more than 100 matches over the next five sea­sons.

He then put in a short stint with Bun­desliga se­cond-tier club MSV Duis­burg be­fore re­join­ing Bei­jing Guo’an in late 2011.

Shao an­nounced his re­tire­ment in Oc­to­ber 2015.

The BLN am­bas­sadors will make ap­pear­ances to boost the pop­u­lar­ity of the Bun­desliga glob­ally, es­pe­cially in their home­lands.

“With only a very lim­ited num­ber of tick­ets and a world- wide fan base, our task is to bring the Bun­desliga to its fans through other chan­nels,” said Robert Klein, chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer of Bun­desliga In­ter­na­tional GmbH.

“We be­lieve the hand­picked le­gends are ide­ally suited to be brand am­bas­sadors. Their out­stand­ing achieve­ments at­tracted sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in the Bun­desliga in their home­lands, and they have great cred­i­bil­ity as highly re­spected fig­ures.”

Join­ing Shao on the am­bas­sadors ros­ter are Ger­many’s most-capped player, Lothar Matthäus and com­pa­tri­ots Jörg ‘The Ham­mer’ Al­bertz and An­thony ‘The Diplo­mat’ Baf­foe; Brazil­ian striker Paulo Ser­gio; Wyn­ton Rufer from New Zealand; former cap­tain of Han­nover 96 Steven Cherun­dolo of the US; Mex­i­can Pavel Pardo and South Korea’s Cha Bum-kun.

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