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What’s your name, where are you from, what brought you to Hohhot and when did you arrive?
My name is Fábio Castro, I’m from Portugal and I arrived in Hohhot on the 19th of October to work as football coach for the Luís Figo Football Academy. For those who don’t know him, Figo is a famous ex-football player from Portugal and won the “Ballon d’Or” in 2000 and was considered the best player in the world by the FIFA in 2001.
If you are doing something different now than when you first arrived tell us about that also.
When I arrived in China I passed one month working in Beijing for the same academy, we have centers in different cities of the country.
What have been some of your professional successes in your industry?
I played as a amateur level football player and soon I realized I would like to become a football coach. Because of that, I decided to go to the university to prepare myself for this role. I made my graduation in Sport, one master degree in Physical Education and another one in High Performance Training, with football option. Besides that, I made my coach’s licenses to be able to work.
Until now, I worked with all the age groups and I had a short experience working in India. It was a fantastic experience that I will never forget.
Share with us some of the moments you were proudest of your students/players.
I don’t have specific moments, what I have are many memories from all the places I worked, the words from some of my players, special moments that only the football can give us. Those who have had the experience to share time with a team can understand my words.
If you have free time, what do you do with it?
I like to do different things during my free time, however, once I still don’t know very well the city I’m going to the cinema, I’m eating at some occidental/Asiatic restaurants, exploring the city, meeting some cultural places and I’m going to the gym.
Tell us something about your pre-Hohhot life that most people here don’t know.
As I told, before come to China I worked in India. Before India, I was working in Portugal as Physical Education Teacher and as football coach.
Favorite local food and where you like to get it:
As local food, I tried the lamb and I really have to admit that the leg is good. Besides that, I like to try different kinds of food as the noodles, the barbecue, the hot pot, the dumplings… I also ate Japanese food here and was really good too. The names of the restaurants I don’t know them and I like to try different ones.
If you could make one city-wide change to Hohhot, what would it be?
I would like that the Chinese could respect more the traffic rules and especially the places for the bikes, once I drive one electric bike and most of the times the cars don’t care about anything. But what I really would like to have here it was a beach, even if it was artificial! I like to walk near of the beach and relax at some bar in there too. I’m missing that from my country!
What has been the most surprising aspect of life here?
I knew a little bit about the Chinese culture and their traditions, however I wasn’t expecting as much cold as I felt here. I never passed by situations with these temperatures in my life and getting used to that was surprising for me.
What’s the most culturally awkward situation you’ve been in here?
One day I was on the taxi and I saw one person burn some money on the streets. After some time, I understood that wasn’t just one person but many people doing that and I asked what meant and the reason for many people have done small fires in the streets. The answer was that they were sending money for the dead people, usually for family and the money was fake. I never saw something like that…
What advice would you give to someone just arriving to Hohhot?
If the person knows another cities of China I would say to be prepared for a more quiet place and consequently, maybe a quiet routine too. And of course I would advise to bring warm clothes!!
Where do you go to “escape?”
Once I’m here for four months and once the weather is cold, I didn’t find yet that place. If I had a beach, definitely I would go there. As I don’t have I will try to find it for sure and until there, a ride on my bike with good weather should be good and enough for me.
When your time here is done and you return home, what do you want to take with you?
Certainly memoirs, new experiences, funny moments and once that I will start to learn Chinese language I want take that with me.
You can connect with Fabio in any of the following ways:
If you’re interested in more information about Winning League Football Academy call 13171090089 or 13304712425.