An Astonishing Partnership
FC Barcelona and Mission Hills Group commence operation
Soccer fans might very well know Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB) from the back of their hand. The world-renowned club teamed up with Mission Hills Group on 24 February 2017 to announce a landmark collaboration to make Hainan province a football hub for China and its wider region. Both giants will jointly manage a football academy in Haikou, the island province’s capital city, in the months to come. Concurrently, there is an interactive FC Barcelona experience area in Mission Hills Centreville Haikou, a major tourism and leisure complex spanning 500,000sqm with five-star accommodations,
international restaurants, shops and other entertainment brands.
“FC Barcelona is delighted to be able to support the growth of the beautiful game in China and help you reach your goal of making this a great footballing nation,” said Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of FCB. “Opening our first 100% FCB managed football school here in China is a huge commitment. It demonstrates our confidence in our partner Mission Hills and in the future of Hainan, as well as our optimism about the footballing talent we expect to find here.”
President Xi Jinping is known to be a football enthusiast himself, and has revealed a vision of China to be “the world football superpower by 2050”. He aims to establish 50 million players spread across juvenile and adults by 2020, with professional world-class teams formed by 2030.
“Since 1992 Mission Hills has been helping to popularise sport and leisure in China – including our flagship sports of golf and tennis – and now we are devoting our efforts to football as well. Mission Hills has a grand vision to create a legacy for football in China through a partnership with one of the most-loved football clubs in the world. We believe our footballing dream can act as a platform for a future generation of footballers in China,” said
Dr. Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group.
The partnership between the two giants will help meet the goals set and bring growth of football at a grassroots level. Fans in the region will be more inclusive with FCB running the academy. Moreover, FCB is known for being a pioneer in managing international football relations in Asia. Its first club opened in Hong Kong in 2014, with a total of 14 Asian companies among its sponsors.
Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group, declared: “We are delighted to join hands with FC Barcelona. We believe that our passion for football among the 1.3 billion population in China is the key for future football development and we hope to share our values and experience with local talents in a humble way.”