Top Chinese player to Umeå
AFP/The Local · 9 Feb 2007, 10:58
Published: 09 Feb 2007 10:58 GMT+01:00
The 18-year-old, seen as China's biggest football discovery in recent years, has been given the green light by the China Football Association to move to Sweden's domestic league champions Umeå IK, Titan Sports reported.
Umeå, who have reportedly agreed a six-month deal with Ma starting February
20, are one of the top women's clubs in Europe with five domestic championships and two European crowns in the past seven years.
"I will try to play my best there and then return home to play the World Cup in top form," said Ma, although she is still awaiting word from Umeå on how to get a visa.
"Actually, the club still has not informed me about the deal. I do not know when to apply for the visa," she added.
As well as being named Asian Women's Player in November, she was also named Asian Youth Player of the Year, the first woman ever to win the award.
Apart from the two Asian Football Confederation honours, she also bagged the most valuable player and Golden Boot awards in the U-20 Women's World Championship in Moscow.
Her talent has seen Chinese fans and media compare her to Manchester United's Rooney, although Ma has played down the comparisons.
"I know lots of people would like to compare me to Rooney. I do not like the comparison," she said at the Asian Games in December.
Ma is the second ranked female under-21 player in the world, after Brazilian player Marta, who also plays for Umeå.