China have named David Beckham as the country's first global football ambassador in a bid to revive the game's image.
Football in China has suffered recently following a match-fixing scandal and an exodus of high-profile players such as Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka.
Former England captain Beckham will combine his new role while continuing to play for Paris St Germain, who he joined in January on a short-term deal.
"I am honoured to have been asked to play such an important role at this special time in Chinese football history," said Beckham.
"I'm excited by the prospect of promoting the world's greatest game to Chinese sports fans as I've seen first hand the growing interest in football there.
"This is a wonderful sport that inspires people across the world and brings families together, so I'm relishing the opportunity of introducing more fans to the game."
Anelka and Drogba left Chelsea for the Chinese Super League but both swiftly returned to Europe, accepting that the desire to play at a higher level was more important for them.
A bigger blow to football's image in China came earlier this month when 58 people, including officials, players and referees, were found guilty of match-fixing offences while 12 teams were fined.