Zhang award for promoting Italian football in China

A Chinese sports commentator has been awarded one of Italy's highest honors to commend his promotion of Italian football in the Peoples Republic of China, Beijing Times reported. Zhang Lu, who has commentated the Italian Serie A league at China Central Television for 15 years, was made a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity in Beijing by Gabriele Menegatti, Italy's Ambassador to China, on behalf of the nation's president Carlo Ciampi.

Although not a star, Zhang was the goalkeeper of the Beijing team in the early 1980s. He completed a master's degree at Beijing Sport University in 1991 and then helped CCTV launch its live telecasts of Italian Serie A games in 1992. Zhang is the vice president of Beijing Guo'an, a Chinese Super League team, which sold a five percent stake to Spanish giant Real Madrid last month.

See also: Real Madrid and Beijing Guo'an sign co-operation (10 Nov)