Arie Haan, the new head coach of the Chinese National Football Team, met the media at a press conference after signing a contract with the China Football Association (CFA) on November 22. Following is the dialogue between Arie Haan and Liu Jianhong, a well-known CCTV sports reporter.
Liu Jianhong: You might have noticed that some Chinese call you “Ali Han” while others call you “Ali Ha’en” (both pronounced according to the given Chinese characters). It really confuses the football fans. So first of all I would like to know which one you like. You may not feel bothered, but it is a big problem for us. I believe all the Chinese football fans would like to call you by the name you prefer.
Arie Haan: it is very clear that my surname is Arie and my given name is Haan. So my name is Arie Haan. (Later when he learned that the character for Han means Chinese and Chinese culture, he chose Ali Han as his Chinese name.)
Liu Jianhong: It is widely known that Guus Hiddink achieved significant success in Korea. I wonder if it was his success that inspired you to come to China. The Chinese idiom “xiong you cheng zhu” means having a well-thought-out plan in mind. Is your China mission xiong you cheng zhu or adventurous?
Arie Haan: I am full of confidence. If not, I wouldn’t have come to coach in such a big country. I believe football has a brilliant future in China and I want to be part of the history recording the progress of Chinese football. We all know that Mr. Hiddink did a great job and he is well recognized in Holland and Europe. I believe I can be as good as he and achieve the same success.
Arie said his first goal is to set good records at the 2004 Asian Cup. Then he and his team will work hard on getting the entry ticket for the 2006 World Cup.
(China.org.cn by Li Xiao January 8, 2003)