Newly signed Espanyol soccer player Wu Lei eyes the ball during his official presentation at RCDE stadium in Cornella Llobregat, Spain, Jan. 29, 2019. (File photo: IC)
Top Chinese striker Wu Lei has impressed Spain with his amazing performance despite his very short stint with the La Liga, Espanyol CEO Roger Guasch said.
Wu joined Espanyol from Shanghai SIPG in January and became the first Chinese player to score in the Spanish top-tier league.
"We realized Wu Lei is the best player in China before we finished the deal. He is so talented...Everyone in Spain knows his name now," Guasch said in Beijing on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old player's popularity in Spain continues to increase. His performance convinced coach Rubi to put him in the starting eleven over the past five games.
"Wu Lei is an optimistic and positive man who fits our style on the pitch well and has a strong ability to adapt. He is so modest and can get along with squad of Espanyol well," Guasch added.
"During his spare time out of training, Wu Lei often watches matches of Espanyol's U18, U14 and even U12 ladder teams. He is a feverish player who loves football from the heart. It's also makes us very happy to see that he has fallen in love with the city of Barcelona," Guasch said.
Espanyol will face city rivals FC Barcelona who sit atop La Liga in the 29th round on Saturday, which also could be a very special game for Chinese fans.
Guasch's visit came as Espanyol signed a strategic agreement with San Gao football school in Beijing on Wednesday to develop youth players and organize international tournaments.
"We are focus on finding teenage youth players of different ages, who have qualities to spur them to become stars," Guasch said.
"We not only bring elite players to La Liga but also cultivate outstanding Chinese players who can improve the competitive level of the whole CSL. We are fighting for the target of making the CSL to become a top world league," Guasch said.