Chinese football fans were deprived of a chance to support their own team in the World Cup - but that hasn't put them off the competition. An online survey reveals that the Chinese are mad about a variety of national teams, with Argentina coming in the lead.
With World Cup fever in full swing, bars and restaurants across China are filled with flags, scarves, vuvuzelas... and until the early hours of the morning, attentive football fans.
Results of the online survey, carried out by Baidu's sports forum. Argentina comes in first place, followed by Germany. Despite having been booted out of the tournament, England, Italy and Portugal remain on the list.
“I’ve taken a year’s worth of holiday in order not to miss a match”
Su Jian, a wealth manager from Beijing, has been watching each and every World Cup match since the start of the competition.
I got into football when I was studying in France. After spending many an enjoyable evening at friends' houses supporting France, they're my favourite team. This year however, the best teams - France, Italy, England - have been rubbish. They're missing Beckham and Zidane!
Like most of my friends, I'm supporting Argentina now. I love Maradona - a gifted player and a great coach too. I think they'll make it to the final and win the cup by defeating Brazil. I've got quite a few friends who support the Netherlands and we never stop telling them that our team is better.
Sometimes I watch the match at home with friends but usually we go out to a bar. As it's pretty late here by the time the second match is over [4am at the earliest], I've taken a year's worth of holiday in order not to miss a match. It's the only way to follow the whole competition."
All photos by Su Jian.
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