Supporter Sunday: AZ-fan in China

Published on 17 november 19, 09:23

ALKMAAR- In the website section Supporter Sunday we talk to AZ supporters who live thousands of kilometres away. In this special edition: Zhang Cheng (35) from China.

It is almost is 8.684 kilometres from his hometown in Wuhu City in China to the AFAS Stadion of AZ. Which takes approximately thirteen hours on an airplane. 

Distance AFAS Stadium - Wuhu City

Dutch football
''I am a big fan of the Dutch national team. Since the World Cup in 1998, I have been following the Dutch squad. Thanks to the attractive play style and good players, I support the Netherlands. The first time I came in touch with AZ, was when the club became champions of the Eredivisie in 2009. Under my favorite coach, Louis van Gaal, AZ made a lot of progress and I have been a fan of the club ever since. In addition, many young top players started their career at AZ.''

Following matches
''I regularly visit AZ.nl/en to stay up to date with the latest news. Fortunately, this is possible in English. Because everything is online nowadays, I often get information about the Eredivisie. If it is not to late, I watch the matches live. I will always follow AZ. However, it is not possible for me to follow AZ on the most social media. In China, we do not use the same online platforms, for example Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes I come across some news about AZ on Chinese media channels. At least I follow AZ as often as I can.''

Europa League
''Every year, I hope that AZ plays in the Europa League, so I can watch more matches. This season we are doing very well. The draw against Manchester United was very good. I think we can win the following games to get through. In addition, AZ has the ambition for a place in the top 3 in the Eredivisie. If we also win the KNVB Beker, my season will be successful.''

Eredivisie
''In my opinion, the Eredivisie is one of the best competitions in Europe. There are a lot of Chinese people who are fans of the Dutch competition. I have some friends who follow the Eredivisie. When I know something about AZ, I immediately tell them. In addition, there are many Asian players active in the Dutch competition. For example: Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Yukinari Sugawara. If a Chinese player joins AZ in the future, I think the number of Chinese fans will increase even more. Otherwise, more and more European football players are coming to China, such as former AZ-player Mousa Dembélé (Guangzhou R&F FC).''

Favourite players
"My favorite AZ-player of all time is Graziano Pellè. He is currently playing in China (Shandong Luneng Taishan). He made a lot goals in Europe and he also has good skills. Further, Jahanbakhsh is one of the best players from Asia. He is very popular in China. In the current team, Captain Teun Koopmeiners is my favorite. I am also a fan of Ron Vlaar, he is very passionate and cares a lot about his fans.''

Justin Baas
''During the previous international break, China played a World Cup qualifying match against the Philippines (0-0). Unfortunately, my country could not win the game. The Philippines did very well. I payed my attention to Justin Baas. In my eyes, he is a great talent who is very flexible and not afraid. He is the future of AZ and the Philippines.''

Collector
"I have a home kit from the 2013-2014 season. I often wear it when AZ is playing. My favorite item is the shirt of Koopmeiners, which I recently received from AZ. This meant a lot to me. I will keep this for my whole life. I am not only a big fan of AZ, but also a collector of signatures. I have many different signed playercards from European football players. AZ has been sending signatures to me since 2013. I still have every signature. I am very grateful.''