The next Ronaldo - from Kwai Tsing?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2011, 12:00am


Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo's every move on the pitch is watched. One of his fans is Wong Sheung-choi, a footballer who has twice represented Hong Kong at the All China Secondary Schools Students' Games. The 18-year-old from Kwai Tsing district is inspired by Ronaldo's play, and tries to copy his skills and tactics.

Sheung-choi loves to watch Ronaldo, though most of the time he can't see his matches live. 'The Uefa Champions League is too late for students,' says Sheung-choi, who goes to Lok Sin Tong Leung Chik Wai Memorial School in Tsing Yi. 'It always starts at around 3am and I still need to go to school. So I usually watch the news in the morning or the match wrap-up after school on the same day.'

Most Hongkongers don't appreciate the amount of effort that players in Kwai Tsing and other outlying districts put into the sport, says Sheung-choi, who was brought up in Kwai Tsing district. 'I don't feel jealous when I see all the media coverage of Kowloon or Hong Kong teams. My teammates and I still enjoy the games,' he says.

'I joined the youth football training scheme when I was in Primary Four. And I started to play for the district team when I was in Form One. I really enjoyed my games with friends on different estates in Tsing Yi; these playgrounds have a special place in my memory.'

He still misses playing on the badminton court next to his former home - where he used to kick a ball - which was pulled down.

Sheung-choi, who is usually optimistic, was upset when his hero, Ronaldo, left current English Premier League champions Manchester United in 2009. He was also upset not to be picked to play for Hong Kong Schools at this December's Schools Interport Championships.

'I had a good chance of being selected for team again,' he says. 'But this time the age limit was a problem, with players born on September 1, 1993 or after all being eligible - my birthday was August 1 of that year. I didn't expect my age would stop me from playing in the last overseas tournament of my secondary school career.'

Sheung-choi trains three days a week - one day each with Kwai Tsing's Second Division team, Kwai Tsing under-19s and his school team. 'My aim is to win the school Division Two title so we will be promoted to Division One again.'

His school team beat the eventual Division One champions in their first match last season, but then kept on losing to supposedly weaker teams and were relegated from DivisionOne. 'I won't let the terrible experience happen again,' Sheung-choi says.

He now plays in midfield, instead of attack, because of the shortage of players in Kwai Tsing under-19s team. But he has impressed in the new role in recent Henderson Youth League matches; he scored four goals as his team beat Southern District 7-0 and also defeated Sha Tin District 5-0.

Sheung-choi, who dreams of playing for a university team, says the only things he tries to copy from Ronaldo are his football skills. 'I'm not trying to be another Cristiano. I am only trying to learn his football skills. After all, I am still who I am.'