Football in China; the documentary

In development: (release 2019)

11 Out of 1.3 Billion: Football in China

The world’s first documentary about Football in China

The Question
Why is China, the sports nation known for the Olympic Medal rain, not able to form a proper national football team? How is it possible that a country with 1.3 billion people, and almost as many football fans, can’t get their act together and play football on world level?


China certainly has the will to improve and the money to spend. International top players and coaches are flown in from the west for millions of dollars. But is it possible to copy the art of football? What is really holding the Chinese back from performing better? Why do we never see any kids kick a ball between the skyscraper forests of modern China? 11 Out of 1.3 Billion; Football in China sets off on a quest for answers to these questions and starts at the bottom.


Arie Haan: Former Dutch international player and coach of Chinese National Team. Years of experience with a point of view from the glory days of Dutch football. “Look at the grass, all fake“.
Xie Hui: Chinese celebrity and former star player, one of the first international football players. “Foreign star players are… actors“.
Stan Valckx: Former dutch player, Assistant Coach Shanghai Shenhua in 2009. Had to check matches for signs of fixing.“Three players had a flu, so, they fired the doctor..”
Pelle Blohm: Swedish player, went to play in China in 1995 as one of the first foreigners, getting trouble with his haircut but also getting a very clever solution.
Ebbe Sand: Danish player, started a football school in China, “It must be possible”
Rowan Simons Writer of Bamboo Goalposts.Chinese would rather win the world cup than head the Olympic medal table.” It’s an impossible dream.

Kevin, a six year old star of the future. Prefers football over anything.
Shanghainese Comedy Group: The Chinese coach asked God, when will we win the World Championship?
Many, many fans: “Not in my lifetime”… “Forget about it”…

The film
Six year old Yangkun (Kevin) is crazy about football, talented, and lucky enough to have exceptional parents who support him in this goal to be admitted to the Number 4 Primary School. At this special school kids get football training after the regular classes.

While Kevin is doing his best to impress the school’s talent scouts we meet many people on and around the football pitch. Chinese and foreign players and coaches, international stars, specialists and even a sports doctor explaining about the Chinese physics, they all have their own ideas about what holds China back from becoming a football super power. The die-hard football fans are very clear in their predictions about when the Chinese squad may win the world cup: “not in my lifetime”…


The documentary is informative and entertaining. It will not just deal with the troubles of match fixing and the cultural consequences of the one-child policy, it will also reveal how a hair dresser made the participation of one of the first western players in China acceptable for the Chinese Football Association, without loss of face.

11 Out of 1.3 Billion; Football in China is full of enthusiasm, ambition and surprises. Ultimately it will show if China has a glorious football future, and if Kevin will be part of it.

  • Release: 2019.
  • Length: 55 minutes
  • Format: Full HD
  • Made by D-FILM.CO in cooperation with About Asia