By Sportswriter Su Bin
PARIS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- For Chinese footballer Wang Shuang, it's the right time to land in Paris and to pursue her dream of playing abroad.
Following an unsuccessful stint in South Korea plagued by injury, the 23-year-old Chinese playmaker signed a two-year contract with French league side Paris Saint-Germain this August and arrived early in September after finishing second with the Chinese women's football team at the Asian Games.
"I want to grasp the opportunity in Europe," she told Xinhua in PSG's training center here on Thursday.
ASIAN GAMES, REGRET AND HOPE
"After playing football for so many years, I want to test myself at a higher-level, see how far away I am from the European players and whether I have something I can improve," Wang said.
Following the signing early in August, Wang featured for China at the Asian Games, where they continued to march on before an agonizing 1-0 loss to Japan in the final.
The second-place finish however, has equaled their best result since 2002. "Everyone worked so hard for the Games [putting in] six hours of training every day. We had reasons to feel regret about the result, and that was hard to swallow," said Wang, shedding light on the self-belief the team gained from the tournament.
"We played well at the Games, and made into the final after so many years. The coach told us to strive for more final appearances at major tournaments, and to take the opportunities as well as we can," she added.
Wang arrived a year ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup in France. She feels that she can adjust to the conditions beforehand, which can prove to be beneficial for her World Cup journey. "Firstly, I need to adjust to the fierce body contact in European competitions, and improve my mentality," she pointed out.
A STUNNING DEBUT
Embracing her debut in PSG five days after her arrival, Wang stunned supporters with a powerful shot from outside the area in the 39th minute against Paris FC. "The Chinese Wang Shuang has conquered Paris", read the headline of Le Parisien article after the match.
However, Wang just rated 6 of 10 points for her debut. "I did feel quite nervous," admitted Wang. "I can't say too much about the goal, but I can feel relieved. It's a good start," she commented. Wang has tried to learn French after arriving in the team.
She has posted some French words on her social media, and shared daily greetings with teammates in French. "If you want to accommodate yourself to a new environment, you need to learn the language and communicate as much as you can," she said.
INJURY AND WAITING REPAID
After playing football with her older brother, Wang displayed a stunning talent, making into the national junior team squad at the age of 12, and finally getting a nod from the national side at 18.
She joined the South Korean league in 2013, scoring goals on consecutive occasions in her first season, before suffering a fatigue-induced fracture that forced her to withdraw for more than half a year. "Playing in South Korea was not a successful period for me," admitted Wang, adding that she felt some fear when receiving invitations from European clubs later on.
"I feared that I would get injured again like I did in South Korea."
Wang didn't feel any regret about failing to land in Europe at an earlier stage. Instead, she trained hard with the Chinese national team and accumulated experience by playing at major tournaments. "My ability, experience, confidence and mentality have been greatly improved by that."
READY FOR CHALLENGES AHEAD
Wang, who has played her first two matches for PSG in the domestic league and Champions League, said that she didn't feel it was much different from what she expected due to her full preparation beforehand.
"Actually I didn't set an ambitious goal for myself here, and the first thing is about adjustment. I have a lot to improve. [I have to] nail down a spot in the squad, earn faith from my teammates, and make more contributions to the team," Wang said.
She was seen in a promotional video for the club with French wunderkind Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian veteran Dani Alves. Wang hopes to become a future superstar in women's football, like Neymar and Mbappe who both play for PSG's men's team. Like PSG's slogan "Revons plus grand (Dream bigger)", Wang has a new dream of conquering European football.