It’s been a year and half since this technical staff started to work at BEIJING GUOAN. We took over a team that had been third in the Super League, had not made past the group stage in the Champions League and had been 27 points away from the mighty Evergrande. We started to work with the aim of creating a strong and compact team that played attractive football, and with the dream of winning the League.
Last season was fantastic. We broke every single club record and it was truly unforgettable. Looking back, I still can’t say exactly what was the secret of our success, but if I have to choose a single one, I think it would be the team’s HUMAN LEVEL, even beyond playing better or worse football.
In the end, the favourite team was able to win the title once again, but this time they had to fight until the very last match because we managed to beat them at their own stadium in an unforgettable match that the fans will talk about for a long time. We didn’t win the League but the moral title was ours and we shared that honour with our enthusiastic and loyal followers.
This season we have set ourselves new goals. The first was making it past the group stage in the AFC Champions League and not only did we succeed; we also topped a very tough group. The second was reaching the Cup final and the third was fighting for the Super League once again. Last year, by the end of the first round, Evergrande had a five-point lead, but this season we have reached the halfway point as joint leaders with 30 points. In fact, our draw at their stadium on the last match of the first round is very positive for us, and makes us believe that the goal of being champions is feasible.
We still have a long and tough way ahead of us, but the team is absolutely focused and committed. Every match we put in 110% effort. That is why I always tell my players that if we continue to work like we have so far, the results will come sooner or later. And those results will lead to our final objective, which is none other than WINNING THE CHINESE SUPER LEAGUE.
Gregorio Manzano Ballesteros
Head Coach of Beijing Guoan Football Club