As Turkish champions VakifBank Istanbul eyes a second-straight Champions League title this weekend, the club president told media on Monday that he hoped that superstar Zhu Ting would remain with the club into the future. He did not disclose whether or not she had signed a contract extension yet, but said that “if Zhu is happy here we are also happy that we have her.”
Zhu first signed with the club in the summer of 2016 after leading China to gold and being named the MVP of the Olympic tournament. At the time the contract was rumored to be worth $1.2 million for the year; last June, she re-upped for the 2017-2018 season, with the new figure reported to be around $1.4 million.
Zhu is currently China’s only volleyball player in a foreign league (another Chinese National Team member was playing abroad earlier this year, but returned home). Since she joined the team, the club has won every title on offer, including 2 Turkish League championships, a European Champions League title, and a Club World Championship. They are favored to repeat in this weekend’s Champions League as well, where Zhu is the current high scorer with 190 points.
Chinese fans have turned out in force to root for their volleyball hero in Bucharest. An estimated 200 Chinese fans showed up for the team’s Turkish League final, and many have also made the trip to BUcharest. See the video below from the CEV on VakifBank’s fans supporting Zhu and her team in the Romanian capital.