夏維耶（Xavier Chen）有個幾乎沒在使用中文名-昌源，2009年秋天跟（前）女友剛從羅馬度假回國，回到俱樂部辦公室，收到了一個大包裹，裡頭竟然包著一整套中華隊球衣，附上我的滿滿祝福，原本以為是爺爺送的26歲生日禮物，竟然來自陌生的台灣人。亞洲足壇對他一無所知，知名的《足球周刊》曾經提過，但是內容充斥著亂七八糟的臆測及錯誤訊息（有人替他翻了很可笑的中文名字-參元），本篇對Xavier Chen的介紹，全部第一手報導、保證「前代未聞」。
TOKKA proudly present : Xavier Chen, an Exclusive article that most people in Asia never heard before, and the potential war between Taiwan/China FA.
文：Ginola 英： Pat Oriku
50％台灣血統 50% Taiwanese
Many people think it’s bad to play too much videogames. Although that might be the case, but without these FIFA soccer videogames I would have never realized that there was a starting right-back in KV Mechelen of the Belgium premier league with an Asian surname. This popular Taiwanese-French mixed boy is Xavier Chen.
搭上第一班飛機前往布魯塞爾，心情竟然是那麼緊張，以往在這裡（歐盟總部）我總被時尚、巧克力與吃不完的鬆餅圍繞著，這一次卻像個情報員般肩負重任。在歐盟總部索菲特飯店(Sofitel de Europe)一樓吧台，初次見到夏維耶，發現他氣質非常地出眾，不像是足球員，貌似好萊塢巨星基努李維（Keanu Reeves），我承認那可讓人心花怒放...
I took the first flight to Brussels and couldn’t believe how nervous I was. Unlike my previous visits where I was surrounded by fashion, chocolate and waffles, this time I felt like a secret agent on a mission. I was at the bar of Sofitel de Europe when I met Xavier for the very first time. I was drawn to him as he had a certain charisma about him which reminded me of Hollywood star Keanu Reeves.
The man in front of me, shaking my hand is a professional football player in Europe whom I’ve been secretly in contact for the last three months. Not only is this man well presented, his level of English was even beyond me.
即便日韓、或澳洲，亞足聯（AFC）會員國的球員在歐洲聯賽能發揮水準的，幾乎是屈指可數，尤其東方人的身體條件，在場上時常吃盡苦頭，能在歐陸聯賽當上主力，實力在亞洲一定是第一等級。對於台灣足球，他不止是個「天上掉下來的禮物」，即便在歐洲，他都算是個獨特的足球員，有著台灣血統就夠特別，還是個貨真價實的知識份子；一般歐洲足球員（亞洲亦同）鮮少受高等教育，多數球員或許註冊過大專學籍，迅速輟學以求職業上發展。 There are a very limited number of players from the likes of Japan, Korea, Australia and AFC to have success in the European football world. It would take a very high caliber Asian player to compete in Europe. In Taiwan, Xavier is the gift from God in terms of football. In Europe, unlike most others, Xavier is an academically qualified football athlete with Taiwanese heritage.
夏維耶邊踢球邊完成學業，在歐洲各國頂級聯賽都屬難得，畢業於比利時名校布魯塞爾大學（法律系），不但足壇僅見，更是該校歷史上第一人（台灣還沒有過台大畢業的職棒球員呢！）。父親是台灣人，現任日商三井住友銀行倫敦總行高階主管，爺爺過往的外交官身份，使父親自幼闖蕩非洲與歐陸（雖然他還是台北出生，1954年），後來於比利時接受高等教育，並在頂尖名校魯汶大學（Catholic University of Louvain）遇上了來自法國的母親。
Xavier was playing “part time” football until he finished his university studies. He made history as he became the first University of Brussels graduate (Bachelor of Law) to play professional football (YET any Taiwanese pro baseball players who graduated from the Taiwan University- NO.1 in Taiwan). Xavier’s father is from Taiwan and is the senior manager of Sumitomo Mitsui London office. When he was young, he travelled to Europe and Africa as his father was a diplomat for Taiwan. He ended up settling down in Belgium and eventually attended Catholic University of Louvain, where he met Xavier’s French mother.
Xavier might be academically successful now but he had to pay his dues during his teenage years. The pressure from both school and football made it tough for him. Especially when you consider he was playing for an elite Belgium club RSC Anderlecht. Xavier overcame the obstacles and was able to represent Belgium in the under 14’s national team. He then represented the men’s team for RSC Anderlecht at the age of 18 and eventually earned the honor of captaincy of the under 20’s national team that competed in Norway.
He could easily pick lawyer as his profession but he told me he LOVES football. “Moreover, professional football players can earn a lot more than lawyers” he said. An annual income of NT 10 million is only considered as an “average income” but is definitely in the top threshold for a Taiwanese. Not to mention this is the annual income of a 20 year old…
多國競相邀約 The Fight for Xavier
Although Xavier was part of the Under 21 national team for Belgium, but he had never represented the men’s national team for Belgium. Thus making him eligible to play for Taiwan. During the one week in Brussels with Xavier, I provided him with some Taiwanese football news and answered all his queries, including with the pros and cons of joining the Taiwanese football team.
夏維耶的殷勤招待，同時開了我對比利時足球的一扇窗，以往這個國家有過太多好手，在80年代叱吒風雲，現在卻苦苦掙扎，當下他們擁有幾個好後衛，例如效力兵工廠（Arsenal）的維瑪倫（Thomas Vermaelen）、拜仁慕尼黑的范比藤（Daniel van Buyten）卻缺乏一個好的邊後衛，梅克倫的右後衛隨時可能入選...
The gracious and warm hospitality of Xavier made me realize that back in the 1980s there were far too many great players in Belgium such as Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal and Daniel Buyten of Bayern Munich. However they are struggling to find themselves a good side-backs hence making the right-back of KV Mechelen a likely candidate for the national team.
Another reason why I was so eager to meet Xavier: according to sources, there were some Chinese scouts looking into Xaxier as local newspapers from Mechelen had mentioned the fact that Xavier would be eligible to pick Taiwan/China if he chose not to represent Belgium. I decided to secretly meet up with Xavier.
By obtaining the services of good players with Taiwanese heritage can increase our vision and improve our team as a whole. More importantly Taiwanese football needs exposure and be recognized. After all the hard work, the famous footballer profile website Trasfermarket.de had already matched the national flag of Taiwan to Xavier Chen’s profile.
等待時機做決定 Waiting for the moment of truth
Most footballers competing overseas are either “familiar with the place (Taiwan) but not the people” or “familiar with the people but not the place (Taiwan)”. This is most evident in the case of Victor Chou. Victor Chou had not received an invitation from the Taiwan national football team but he has already made a lot of good friends in Taiwan and intends to represent the national sometime down the track. Similarly, Xavier is not familiar with Taiwan as he had only visited the country once when he was ten years old. Apart from his grandpa, the only other significant memory of Taiwan is its famous meat bun restaurants. For a “foreigner” to represent an unfamiliar country has been such a dilemma as the status of a member of the national football team is intriguing but at the same time, the travelling and distance between the country they are representing and the professional football club they play for during the season may cause some potential issues in their professional career.
I’ve mentioned to Xavier that Taiwan is not a strong football nation and do not have a lot of resources to bargain with. An invitation to a tour of Taiwan and meeting some local people would give him some ideas on what he is getting himself into. This opens up a door for Taiwanese football, but everything needs to be carefully planned out to prevent the door being “shut” again. The decision will be almost as big as a marriage if you know what I mean.
The charming Xavier told me he would be visiting Taiwan this summer and is looking forward to the challenges ahead. Apart from his birth country of Belgium, he would only consider Taiwan as the country he would represent in football.