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Chinese Teenage Goalie Inspired by Inter
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Chinese young international goalkeeper Wang Dalei says he is thrilled to have received warm welcome and help from superstars and coaches of Serie A giants Inter Milan and will try to have a best show in the 10-day trial.

"Adriano, Luis Figo, Hernan Crespo, Alvaro Recoba and other stars, who I only could see on television, took turns testing my saves. It is like a dream," said Wang, who has trained with the team for three days.

The China Super League club Shanghai United's 17-year-old, who was just called up by the national team for the first time for their away match against Singapore at the Asian Cup qualifiers next Wednesday, arrived in Milan on Wednesday.

"The coaches instructed me in every save and they will encourage me when I made a mistake," Wang said.

"Those superstars, who were so far away to me before, are so friendly and will say hello to me, and joke around with me, just like friends."

Wang believes that training in such a good atmosphere keeps the pressure level low and gives him the confidence to show his best and polish his skills.

"Frankly speaking, I do not think I am capable enough to join the club. I think I am lucky. I never expected to have such an opportunity," Wang was quoted as saying by Titansports.

"But I will not let the chance slip away easily. I will try my best during the trial."

Though it is unlikely Wang will join in the club with such a short time trial, his performance and ability to learn will set a solid foundation for his future career.

According to the club's official website, Wang showed the potential to become a superstar on his first day training with the star-studded team.

Wang participated in a warm-up with Paolo Orlandoni and Fabian Carini, coordinated by Inter's goalkeeper coach Giulio Nuciari, made a series of fine saves against Figo, Adriano and Zanetti during shooting practice, and staged an impressive performance in the "eight-a-side practice match."

"At Angelo Moratti Sports Centre, Wang showed a promising start to his 10 days of training with the Nerazzurri, part of a new technical and communications project between Inter and Chinese football to help develop emerging players who are part of the national Under-21 team," said the club's website.

But the Inter trial also forces Wang to miss the national team's training and match against Singapore.

"It is the only pity. I am sorry to have to miss the first training with national team," Wang said.

"I did not know the trial time will clash with the national match.

"But I have made the decision to have a try in Inter Milan. I hope to further polish my skills and make greater contributions to the national team in the future."

Wang's outstanding performances during May's Under-21 Toulon soccer Tournament, in La Londe, southern France, helped China advance into the semi-finals and also put Wang in the limelight.

He has been hailed as one of football's future stars by FIFA, the sport's governing body, for his contributions helping his side reach the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005.

Right after the semi-final defeat to France, Wang was contacted by agents from Europe.

In domestic leagues, Wang also enjoyed a successful show with brilliant saves for Shanghai United in his first year playing in the nation's premier league.

United said in a statement they fully supported Wang's attempts to break into Serie A.

"We are currently open to any option in terms of Wang's future ... either a loan deal or a transfer would be acceptable for us and we would go for nothing more than a reasonable price," it read.

"If Wang could land himself a contract with Inter, it would be a blessing not only for himself but also for Chinese soccer as a whole. The more Chinese players hone their skills overseas, the faster China's soccer will advance."

Nineteen-year-old Shenzhen Kingsway striker Zhang Wenzhao was also given an opportunity to move to Serie A.

(China Daily September 2, 2006)

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