European giants Real Madrid are to open a football academy in southern China next year in a tie-up with Super League leaders Guangzhou Evergrande, the Chinese club's owner said on its website.
Madrid, who have been champions of Europe a record nine times, are striving to promote their brand in fast-developing China, as are a host of other top European sides.
The academy in the southern city of Guangzhou will take in over 3,000 promising players in its first year and use the same training techniques as those used by Real Madrid in Spain according to Chinese property giant Evergrande.
The Spanish club's youth team coach Fernando Sanchez Cipitria has been appointed technical director.
"We will send a high-profile coaching team here and build up selection, training and evaluation systems, and a competition mechanism of the same standard as we use in Spain," the China Daily quoted Cipitria as saying.
"We will also train Chinese coaches at schools and select some outstanding players and coaches for more comprehensive training at Real Madrid."