BEIJING - Success now just isn't good enough for Xu Jiayin.
With a 12-point lead over second-place Beijing Guo'an and six games to play in the Chinese Super League (CSL), it's only a matter of time before Guangzhou Evergrande claims the league title.
But Xu, president of the Cantonese club, is already looking to the future.
To that end, he will open the world's biggest soccer school, the Evergrande-Real Madrid Football Academy, in Guangdong province next year with the support of La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid.
Xu, who bought the club for 100 million yuan ($15.4 million) in March of 2010, has shown a willingness to bring in expensive foreign players, including Argentina midfielder Dario Conca, who was named the best player of the Brasileiro in 2009 and 2010 and cost the club $10 million in the transfer market.
After making the senior team a luxury fleet, the 53-year-old real estate tycoon switched his attention to younger players.
He reached a cooperation agreement with Real Madrid chairman Florentino Perez during the club's China tour in early August, in which Perez promised to send coaching teams to the school for youth training.
The school will enroll 3,150 students in 2012, including primary school (grade 4 to grade 6), middle school and high school. There will be 63 classes and 126 teams (each class including male and female squads). The first semester will start on Sept. 1, and the total number of students is expected to reach 10,000 within three years.
"When we were researching in Europe, we found most of the training camps overseas only have hundreds of students and are running in an elite education format," said Hong Wei, chief designer of the Evergrande-Real Madrid Football Academy. "However, the model couldn't be used in our school, considering the scarce soccer population and inadequate league system in China.
"We must lay a solid foundation for Chinese soccer to lift up the amount and quality of domestic soccer players. Besides, the school also aims to select talented young players and will give those whose families can't afford the tuition financial support."
Hong said the club has set two high standards for the academy.
"The first standard is for professional soccer training. The school will be equipped with world-class facilities and all the coaches will be invited from Real Madrid," Hong said. "The second standard is set for the quality of basic education.
"The biggest problem for Chinese soccer is the long-time negligence of basic education, which makes parents unwilling to send their children to soccer schools at the risk of dropping culture classes, leaving their lives with no guarantees if they fail to become professional players.
"Children come to Evergrande-Real Madrid Football Academy to play soccer, but they are also here to learn knowledge, and even better, to enter a good university," he said.