Former Bayern Munich captain Klaus Augenthaler (right) prepares before a training session at a soccer camp in Shanghai on Monday. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Bayern Munich legend Klaus Augenthaler called on Chinese soccer youth training to patiently build a solid foundation ahead of a soccer camp for young players in Shanghai on Monday.

Augenthaler, 62, who is the former captain of the Bundesliga giant, made the comment while attending the national summer camp for Chinese junior high school students, which is being co-organized by Bayern Munich. 

About 1,000 players, coaches and referees from China’s 31 provincial regions are participating in the event, which kicked off Monday.

The soccer camp is hosted by the national campus soccer office under the Ministry of Education (MOE) in China. The camp will include matches, patriotic education, talent selection, coach training and a culture exchange, according to the MOE website.

Talking about China’s youth training, the former defender, who won the 1990 World Cup with West Germany, said that it is dangerous and risky to jump to the second step if Chinese youth training has not yet made a solid first step.

A lack of patience might be a problem sometimes for Chinese soccer, he told the Global Times.

When asked if he had seen some Chinese talents in the past days, Augenthaler said he noticed two or three young players who he wishes could take to Bayern for training. However, Augenthaler noted that it is not fair to compare the Chinese talents with their German or Bayern peers, as it is not good for their growth. He believed Chinese players need to improve step by step.

Augenthaler said that he had noticed the issue when he was training Chinese coaches and Chinese players in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, where Bayern owns a training base. 

He said that if he went too deep, they couldn’t grasp what he had taught them, so he had to repeat the knowledge in order to make a solid foundation, and then increase the level of difficulty.

Bayern has been actively cooperating with the MOE and local governments in building youth training in the country.

Rouven Kasper, managing director FC Bayern Munich China, told the Global Times in a previous interview that the club believes “in the future of Chinese soccer, this is why we focus on and invest strongly in this market,” he said. “We would love to find and support the next Chinese Thomas Müller and so [we] support the development of Chinese football.”

China aims to have 50,000 schools specializing in youth soccer by the end of 2025 and planned to add 29,000 soccer fields by 2020, said Wang Dengfeng, a senior official with the MOE, at a press conference on July 23.