On a football pitch situated in the vast green adjacent to Berlin's Olympic stadium, 29 Chinese teenage boys and girls in bright orange jersey are meeting their German counterparts for a friendly match scheduled for Wednesday.
As a highlighted curtain raiser of the German-Chinese school football camp 2017, the friendly match would be watched by two special spectators -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in Germany on Tuesday for his second state visit.[Special coverage]
The match would last about 20 minutes for boys' session and 20 minutes for girls. After a warm-up training on Tuesday, the young players broke up into groups and got to know each other. While some introduced themselves with the help of a translator, others were more audacious, like 14-year-old Zhang Shunxin, who spoke up in simple English.
She sometimes tapped what she wanted to say to a German boy into a translation APP and showed the words to the boy, who was crowded by other equally eager-to-communicate Chinese girls.
Although speaking different languages, the boys and girls from the two sides share much passion for football and aspiration for victory. Football has become a bridge between the two peoples, which also facilitates China-Germany cooperation and exchanges.
The school football camp 2017 is part of many activities under a framework agreement, which was signed by China's Ministry of Education and the German Football Association last November to propel China-German cooperation, said Wang Dengfeng, head of the Chinese football delegation.
Thanks to the increasingly closer bilateral cooperation, football training for juniors has become a more and more important item on the cooperation agenda of the two countries.
During the soon-to-be unveiled camp, the Chinese young footballers will play friendly matches, get trained by German coaches and visit elite German football schools.
"Germany excels in junior's football training," said Zhu Guanghu, head coach of the Chinese youth camp. "We come here to learn about how German kids get trained, study and play games, so as to help our kids see clearly their future roads."
Zhang Shunxin, a Bayern Munich fan, said that what she wants to learn the most is how Germans do physical fitness training. "I have problems with my stamina," she added.
Fabi, 11, who plays in a local girl's team, spoke of her impression of their Chinese rivals, "I haven't seen them play football, but they look very active."
Christoph Hoffman, trainer of German boy's team Berliner SC U13, said, "I think the Chinese team is more athletic and we focus more on tactics. And we'll see which is better."
"Our team usually does not have such an opportunity to play with teams from other countries. For the kids, it will be a very, very special experience," he noted.
Yet his student, the 13-year-old Arman believed victory to be a sure thing, "because we are a good team, but I also wish the Chinese team a lot of luck," he said.