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Audience explodes: He lured 40 million to the screen

Keep calm and watch Messi-Wu Lei.

this is the message from the chinese TV channel PPTV, as of Saturday sending the match between Barcelona and Espanyol to football fans in the big country to the east.

Messi-Wu Lei. Not Barcelona-Espanyol.

the Attacker switched in January to Espanyol from the chinese Shanghai SIPG F. C after a season where he won a league title and top scorer award after 27 goals in the season.

And while Wu Lei is probably not a name that rings many bells among european football fans, so is his Spanish fodboldeventyr been a bit of a sensation in China.

Espanyol reports that more than 50 chinese journalists arrived to cover the battle, and PPTV, which owns the rights to the fight, according to AS had a team of reporters in the city since Monday.

They have covered all aspects of Wus preparations for battle, where some have been stationed at the club's training facility. Others have even approached the company, who press spillertrøjerne, in order to document the process for the chinese viewers.

Wu Lei and teammates before the match against Sevilla, as the blåstribede lost 1-0. Photo: JOSEP LAGO/Ritzau Scanpix

And the great interest from the Middle Kingdom can be felt in the club before Saturday's match holds a 13. place in La Liga. Spanish Marca has made a quite spectacular overview of the

Wu Lei made his debut against Villarreal, was the fight according to the Spanish Marca, as seen by approximately 177.000 Spanish TV-viewers.

In China, the number of people who saw the fight, more than 40 million.

And this despite the fact that Wu Lei started on the bench and only got the last 12 minutes on the pitch.

From the start of the season and forward to the end of december had Espanyol seven million TV viewers for their matches. In total.

So it is not difficult to imagine that the Barcelona club are more than satisfied with the approach of the Lei, which in record time has become the man with the most sold spillertrøje in the club. According to the club is a merchandise-sales increased by 35 percent alone in the course of the last months.

About the hypen is enough to make Espanyol a win at stamford bridge against Barcelona, however, immediately more doubtful.

Storklubben has won its last six matches. And even though the chinese media has touted the fight to a showdown between Wu Lei and Messi, so will everything else than a victory for the hosts and the argentine sorcerer stand back as a surprise.

But everything can, as we know, happen in the world's most popular sport, and the chinese fans and journalists will no doubt cross both fingers and toes that their hero will make a good figure on Saturday afternoon.

Wu Lei has played in Espanyols last seven matches, of which the last five have been from the start. It has been for a single scoring for the attacker so far.

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