Wang bidding adieu to PSG

Wang Shuang’s French odyssey appears over after the Chinese star reportedly terminated her two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

According to Tencent Sports, the 24-year-old remained in France after Team China’s exit to Italy at the Women’s World Cup to wrap up the contractual loose ends with PSG.

Wang had reportedly informed PSG of her decision before the World Cup kicked off, with the French giant eager to hang on to last year’s Asian player of the year.

At the time of writing, there was still no confirmation of Wang’s exit and her name was still listed on the squad list on the club’s website.

It’s rumored that Wang’s departure is down to a clash between PSG’s league fixtures next season and the Steel Roses’ Olympic qualifiers, while the language barrier has also been suggested as a factor.

News of Wang’s return generated heated debate on Chinese social media, with related topics viewed over 42 million times on Weibo by Thursday afternoon.

The star playmaker looks set to suit up for the Chinese Women’s Super League, which starts next month, but it’s still not clear which club she will join.

Wang began her career with Wuhan in 2012, scoring 19 goals in 80 appearances before joining South Korean side Daejeon Sportstoto in 2013.

She returned to Wuhan in 2015 and made history by netting the only goal in a friendly against the United States in New Orleans to end the Americans’ 11-year, 104-match unbeaten run.

In 2016 Wang signed with Dalian, where she won two league titles and was voted 2017’s Chinese player of the season before returning to Wuhan in 2018.

Wang’s move to PSG last August saw her become a household name back home, with her star rising further by being named 2018’s AFC Women’s Player of the Year.

She found the net seven times in the French top flight last term and became the first Chinese to score in the Champions League. However, PSG missed out on silverware in those competitions, with domestic rival Lyon victorious in both.

Despite the premature end to her time in France, Wang left no doubt she has grown both as a player and a person over the past year.

“The biggest difference (after playing in Europe) is the change of the attitude,” Wang told People’s Daily last week.

“There’s pressure in the national team, there’s also pressure at PSG. Players of each generation have their own traits and responsibility. I’m confident my generation can create history, but there’s been no notable achievement on the international stage. To achieve the dream, we have to put in a 200 percent effort.”

Steel Roses great Sun Wen, a veteran of the legendary national squad that won silver at the 1996 Olympics and 1999 World Cup, is certain Wang and Team China will reap the benefits of her time in France.

“Playing in foreign leagues is significant in terms of broadening a player’s horizon and opening their mind,” the FIFA Female Player of the Century told People’s Daily.

“The influence is not only on the pitch. When you observe, study and experience in a highly competitive environment, there will be imperceptible changes.

“Years ago, when we played in the US, there were language and lifestyle barriers. We also experienced pain and loneliness.

“However, thinking back decades later, I know that experience means a lot to me.”

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