On 22 May, Cologne touched down in China for the first time ever, and after being formally presented to the locals in the Liaoning Province on Monday, the Billy Goats took part in a public training session on Tuesday, while also enjoying a kickabout with young fans.
On Wednesday coach Peter Stöger's side will play a friendly against FC Liaoning, while the club also launched an official account on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo for the first time.
Cologne's brief trip to the Far East is the result of a partnership agreement signed with FC Liaoning in November 2016. The cooperation between the clubs will focus primarily on exchanging knowledge. For example, Cologne will offer help in training coaches and creating a sustainable youth structure.
The Billy Goats have deliberately opted to take a different path to other clubs looking to increase their presence in China. "We're very happy to be the first Bundesliga side to have signed a partnership with a Chinese club, FC Liaoning," said Cologne CEO Alexander Wehrle. "We are initially focusing on the Liaoning Province and the football fans there, rather than competing with the big names in the big cities. More than 40 million people live in this region and if we can interest even just one per cent of them in Cologne than it will be a big success."
Watch: Highlight's of Cologne's 2-0 win over Mainz on Matchday 34