Atletico Madrid to open 200 stores in China
Madrid, Feb 11 Reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid are going to open 200 retail outlets in China, according to news reports.
Such a move would give Atletico, who Saturday defeated local rivals Real Madrid 4-0 in the Vicente Calderon, a bigger presence in China than any other European club including their illustrious neighbours Real, FC Barcelona or English powerhouses such as Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea, reports Xinhua.
The Atletico stores would be opened in Wanda Malls, which are owned by Chinese businessman Wang Jianlin. Wang became one of the major shareholders in the Spanish club earlier this year when he bought 20 percent of Atletico's shares.
The club views the stores as an important doorway into the Asian market. Atletico already have a deal with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and trains a number of Chinese youngsters as part of 'Project Wanda' to help develop the next generation of footballers.
It is also believed that this summer will see Atletico tour China before the season starts.