Germany is probably the best soccer team on the planet right now. And when they take on Argentina in the World Cup final on Sunday afternoon, they'll have eyes around the globe centered on them—and hearts all throughout China pulling for them. Wait, what?

Yes, according to a lengthy piece by VICE, Chinese soccer fans are totally obsessed with the German National Team. Why? Honestly we read the whole article and we're still pretty confused.

Germany is the most popular international soccer team in China. Beyond the immediate visual evidence—hordes of locals walking around Shanghai in knock-off replica shirts—we know this thanks to a survey conducted at the beginning of this year, and because thousands of Chinese social media users sided with Germany over any other team competing in the World Cup.


He might be an icon, but I still wasn't sure why. How come Chinese fans picked the German midfielder over, say, Guangzhou FC's Zhao Xuri, or Italy's Andrea Pirlo? Is there a solidarity in the fact that both Germany and China are bossing it economically in their own respective regions? Or was it perhaps because China's national soccer team is consistently terrible, having only qualified for the World Cup once, in 2002?

“Given the lack of international success by their own team, Chinese fans do look elsewhere for glory and achievement,” said Professor Chadwick. “At another level, many Chinese people often look to Western consumer brands when making consumption choices. Soccer teams in this respect are just another form of Western consumer brand.”

Fans of American soccer, just be grateful that the USMNT isn't as bad as China, leading us to root for some other country.

[via VICE]