SOCCER: A documentary about the Belgian-Taiwanese former player will be shown at a screening tonight in Taipei before its official premiere on Friday next week
By Jason Pan / Staff reporter
Soccer star Xavier Chen （陳昌源） yesterday began a two-week Taipei visit that is to see the premiere of a Taiwanese-made documentary about his soccer career and several promotional events.
A leader on the pitch for Team Taiwan, the 34-year-old Belgian-Taiwanese defender and on-field general has long been seen as a hero by fans for helping the national squad achieve crucial wins.
A private showing of Dreamers — Last Shot Xavier Chen （敢夢者：最後一擊 陳昌源） by Taiwanese director Pierce Lin （林凡舜） has been scheduled for tonight for a select audience of sports, entertainment and media figures, ahead of its official international debut on Friday next week.
Chen told a news conference in Taipei yesterday that at first he had been uncomfortable about the idea of a documentary, but Lin had been insistent and talked him into allowing his training, competition and private time to be filmed.
“I thought that with the film I could inspire young people to play soccer and help soccer development in Taiwan,” he said.
Since his retirement from Belgian club KV Mechelen and his international career with Team Taiwan, he has been working as a commentator for a sports television network in Belgium, for the European Champions League and other international competitions, as well as pursuing his legal career, he said.
He earned a master’s degree in law from Universite libre de Bruxelles.
Lin told the news conference that he hoped the documentary would lead to more such works.
Dreamers — Last Shot Xavier Chen is unique, as it is the first project by a Taiwanese production team to focus on a national sports icon who also had a career abroad, the director said.
The “outstanding storyline” of a soccer star of Taiwanese heritage playing his final game for Taiwan, while battling pain from injuries, helped the production team raise the NT$5 million （US$167,695） needed for the film, he said.
Chen led Taiwan’s national squad to a famous last-minute win over Bahrain in the Asian Cup qualifier at the Taipei Municipal Stadium on Oct 10 last year.
Chen is scheduled to make appearances at several charity events this week, and to toss out the opening pitch for a pro baseball game in Taichung on Thursday.
He is to be the Belgian Office, Taipei’s guest at a pub event on Monday next week to watch Belgium’s first match in the Russia World Cup, against Panama.