Chelsea reveal all to China's Olympic team

COBHAM (Reuters) - Premier League champions Chelsea will reveal the secrets of their success to China’s Olympic team to help them prepare for Beijing 2008, according to Blues coach Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho attends a news conference at Chelsea's training ground in Cobham, Surrey, southern England February 1, 2007. Chelsea are hosting the Chinese Olympic football team for a two-week training session at their club's training ground. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

China’s Olympic squad have arrived for a two-week training stint at the champions’ Cobham complex and will play a friendly against a Chelsea XI at Brentford on Monday.

“We are an open club. We have nothing to hide and everything to share,” Mourinho told a news conference on Thursday to welcome the Chinese delegation.

“Our methodology is completely open to them. And I’m not the sort of person who thinks I have a lot to teach and nothing to learn. We also have things to learn from them too.

“My training sessions will be open to them and at the end of the session I will always be available to explain what I did, why I did it and the objectives I have.”

Serbian coach Ratomir Dujkovic, who has coached in Africa with Rwanda and Ghana until October 2006, will be in a position envied by Mourinho’s league rivals.


The visit forms part of a bigger involvement by Chelsea in China, following last month’s launch of a Mandarin language Web site and projects involving the Chinese FA and the Asian Football Confederation.

However, the club’s marketing opportunities in Asia did not mean that Chelsea would automatically sign a Chinese player as a result.

“If there are good players with the potential to play at the Premiership level, of course, Chelsea is always interested,” Mourinho said.

But he added: “It’s not a compulsory situation that we must have a Chinese player because we have a cooperation agreement with the country. Absolutely not.”

The Portuguese coach was clearly interested, though, in the soccer tournament in Beijing next year.

“Olympic football is an important step between youth and the top level. At the Olympic Games, you can normally find the best talent between the two.

“When you work in a football club, it’s important to know what is happening at this important step.”

Mourinho knows full well that Beijing will be a chance for China to show its growing strength in the world game -- a chance Dujkovic and his side are anxious to take.

“They want to do well, they want to show who they are, they want to show the evolution of their football,” said the Chelsea manager.

“That’s why I can understand why Dujkovic is involved totally in this step...maybe the Olympic one will be the team of the future.”

Additional reporting by Sylvia Westall