Wen Will We See The Likes Again?

Last updated : 24 February 2003 By Ed_ScottishFitba
Not often you get a chance to see one of the best players in the world take to a Scottish pitch. We all do when Sun Wen is expected to lead the Chinese Women's national side against Scotland on March 10th at Livingston's City Stadium. She is idolised by millions at home and used to playing in front of packed stadiums. She was the top scorer in the last women’s World Cup and landed the Golden Boot. Wen was also voted co-player of the century by FIFA and was shortlisted for last year’s Women’s World Player of the Year award. It will be rather a change when she runs out in front of a few hundred supporters in March.

Wen has been compared to David Beckham and Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos and is looking forward to September. Then she will lead China as it bids to become world champions as hosts of the next women’s World Cup. They hope to go one better than they did in 1999, when the narrowly lost to hosts America on penalties. Would you believe that the final was played in front of a crowd of 90,000-strong crowd? As host, China do not have to qualify, hence the warm up tour taking in Scotland, Germany and Norway. Scotland only recently moved into Europe’s top 20 for the first time so it will be a big test for Julie Fleeting and her teammates.

Vera Pauw, outgoing manager of Scotland women’s team, was looking forward to the challenge and said it was a massive coup to have Sun Wen and her team-mates come to Scotland. Pauw said: "I would say to anyone interested in football that this is a real chance of a lifetime to see one of the game’s great players and would urge them to come along and give the Scottish girls their support. Sun Wen is a top player, she has high technical ability and amazing speed, like the rest of the Chinese team. This is a huge step forward for Scottish women’s football to have the opportunity to play against a player like this, and a team like China. It gives our players a chance to develop and learn, while also giving spectators a chance to see top-class footballers. We must be realistic against teams like China. However with a good crowd and support on the night we will certainly rise to the challenge."

A spokeswoman for the SFA said the game against China marked a "huge step forward" for the women’s game in Scotland. She added: "To have Scotland as the only other team to play China along with the likes of Germany and Norway prior in their first ever European tour is testament to how far we have come as a national side and also to all the hard work carried out by both Vera Pauw and all the players."

Mark the date in the diary, Monday, March 10,with tickets priced at £3 and £1 for concessions.

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Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba.net)
Vanderhogg (vanderhogg@scottishfitba.net)

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Al McIntosh (Al@scottishfitba.net)