ISTANBUL, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Turkish super league champion, the leading football club Besiktas looks forwards to its first China visit to be a bridge of collaboration between the two countries, said club head Fikret Orman.
The Istanbul-based football team known as the Black Eagles starts its first-ever China visit on July 18, and will play with German team FC Schalke 04 on July 19 in Zhuhai. While Fikret Orman will meet Chinese football authorities and fans in China.
"The fact that the year 2018 will be celebrated as 'Turkey Tourism Year' makes China even more attractive for us," Fikret Orman told Xinhua on Saturday in Vodafone Stadium located at the heart of Istanbul with a beautiful view of Bosphorus Strait and elegant Ottoman Dolmabahce Palace.
Orman said along with its economic growth, China is taking serious steps in sports. "And Besiktas is determined to closely monitor the developments in China with a visionary point of view. Maybe we will be one of ambassadors in China."
Having football stars like Ricardo Quaresma, Ryan Babel and Anderson Talisca, the Black Eagles this year strengthens its squad with a transfer from Real Madrid, 33-year-old central defender Pepe.
Orman said Besiktas intends to introduce the club's star players to Chinese people and plans to participate in tournaments in China every year with a view to contributing "the friendly exchange between the two communities".
According to him, the trip will also be an opportunity to attract more Chinese fans to support Besiktas.
"We have more than 30 million fans in Turkey and our target is 100 million globally, so China will be one of the most important parts for us." he said.