torsdag 22. august 2019

The foreign footballers giving up their passports to become Chinese

In January 2019, Nico Yennaris gave back his British passport, moved to Beijing and became a naturalized Chinese citizen. Aged 26, he adopted a new name. From now on, he would be called Li Ke.Growing up in east London, Yennaris had perhaps the most British of boyhood dreams: he wanted to become a famous soccer star. Born in David Beckham's stomping ground of Leytonstone to a Cypriot father and a Chinese mother, Yennaris got off to a good start.

Aged 7, he joined the Arsenal FC Youth Academy, a production line for Premier League talent, and went on to play for the England national side at youth level. But after a series of injuries cost him a prestigious scholarship, relegating him to the lower league dressing rooms, Yennaris opted for another route to stardom. He looked to China.