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Arsenal boss Wenger: Chinese football sleeping giant

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is convinced China is a sleeping football giant.

Wenger sees similarities between the current state of Chinese football and the early days of the J-League in Japan, and he thinks Arsenal's summer hosts can go from strength to strength.

"The China league is a bit like the Japan league, where I was in 1994," said Wenger on arsenal.com. "That was the third year of professional football in Japan and it is similar in China, but it is not enough.

"To make a sport popular you need the elite and you need a strong basis of the number of people who practice the game. The elite can give the appetite to the others to play, but after you need to support that and have the coaches to create the practice in the younger generations.

"Usually, sport follows the economic power, and the economic power is moving at the moment from Europe to China and Brazil. These countries, if they have the desire, they will have the players. The history is in Europe - but how long can we resist the power of China if they really want to develop football? The future will tell."

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