Wednesday, December 24, 2014

China (PRC) Greatest All-time 23 member team

China 2002

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Before the WC qualifiers for 1982, the Peoples' Republic of China had limited opportunities to compete internationally.  The national team known as China was actually the Republic of China playing with players from Hong Kong.  In 1982, China entered the World Cup Qualifiers for the first time since 1958 with star players Rong Zhixing and Gu Guangming from Guangdong. They nearly made it to Spain, but New Zealand beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 at Riyadh on the last match of the Final round and made up the goal difference. New Zealand won the playoff match.  Two years later, China once again reached the Final of the Asian Cup.  Jia Xiuquan emerged as one of the best defenders in Asia.  In 1988, they qualified for the Seoul Olympics, a full national team tournament for AFC.  In 1989, China once again nearly qualified for the WC Finals.  They were leading Qatar 1-0 at the last game of the AFC Final Round, a result that would send China to the Italy 1990, but China gave up 2 goals on the 87th minute and surrendered the berth to UAE.  China did not do well in the following World Cup qualifiers, but managed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup Finals.  Since 2002, China, however, seemed to have regressed.

GK: Li Fusheng 李富胜
He was the highest cap goalkeeper for China.  He went to the Asian Cup in 1976.  He was a part of the team who narrowly missed out in qualifying for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, losing to New Zealand in a play-off.  He was a member of Bayi team.

GK: Fu Yubin 傅玉斌
He spent his entire career with Liaoning where he won several Chinese league titles and the 1990 Asian Club Championship. For the national team,  he represented China in the 1992 Asian Cup where he aided them to a third-place finish.

GK: Ou Chuliang 区楚良
Ou was a player from Guangdong Hongyuan.  He also played for Shanghai Shenhua,  He was capped 75 times.  He went to he WC Finals 2002 as a backup.
RB: Sun Jihai 孙继海
Sun probably had the most successful career overseas among Chinese players.  He played 7 seasons for Manchester City.  Domestically, he started his career with Dalian Shide. He earned 80 caps.  He played only 25 minutes at the WC in 2002 because of an injury he received against Costa Rica.

Sun Jihai

RB: Zhu Bo 朱波
He was capped 83 times for China.  He was a key player as it took second place in the 1984 Asian Cup.  He played mainly for Bayi in the Chinese league.

CB:  Fan Zhiyi 范志毅
He was the Asian Player of the Year in 2002.   He captained China as it reached the WC Finals for the first time in 2002.  He played three seasons for Crystal Palace and became a captain there. In China, he played for clubs in Shanghai and Hong Kong. 
Fan Zhiyi 

CM/CB: Zheng Zhi 郑智
He is best remembered for playing three seasons with Charlton Atletic in England.  He is also known for captaining Guangzhou Evergrade that won the AFC Champions' League in 2013 and 2015.  For the national team, he earned 94 caps.  He captained the under-23 national team that competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

CB: Li Weifeng 李玮峰
He was capped 112 times for China.  He played for various clubs in China.  He had a brief stint with Everton in England.  He played for Suwon Bluewings in the K-League. He earned 112 caps and went to the WC Finals in 2002. 

CB:  Jia Xiuquan 贾秀全
He was the Chinese captain from 1987 to 1992.  In 1984, he won the MVP award at the Asian Cup.  He joined FK Partizan in 1987 becoming one of the first Chinese to play in Europe.  He later played in Malaysia and Japan. 
Jia Xiuquan

LB: Mai Chao 麦超
He played his entire career with Guangzhou FC(which would become Guangzhou Evergrande).  He played 45 times for China between 1986 and 1992 and was at one point China's highest scoring defenders.

LB: Sun Xiang 孙祥
He became the first Chinese player to appear in a Champions' League match when he played for PSV Eindhoven against Arsenal in 2007.  He started his career with Shanghai Shenhua.  He also played in Austria and was a member of the all-conquering Guangzhou Evergrade.

CM: Xie Yuxin 谢育新
He was the foirst Chinese from PRC who played in Europe when he joined FC Zwolle in 1987.  He is originally from Guangdong.  He was capped 120 times and was the youngest ever national team player for China.
CM: Shao Jiayi 邵佳一
He played for Energie Cottbus, 1860 Munich, and MSV Duisburg as well as for Beijing Guoan.  He went to the WC in 2002. Shao was also a key player for the national team in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup where he scored three goals during the tournament which led China to finish as runners-up.

CM: Li Tie 李铁
Li first made his name with Liaoning FC in China.  Later, he secured a move to Everton, where he spent a very successful first season, but injuries had kept him from action for the next few seasons.  He earned 92 caps and played in the 2002 World Cup Finals. 
Li Tie
LW: Wu Qunli 吴群立
He was predominantly remembered for his time at Guangzhou FC.  He was the CFA Footballer of the Year in both 1990 and 1993.  He joined Hong Kong First Division League side South China in 1994.   For China, he was capped 39 times. He went to the 1988 Summer Olympics.

RW: Gu Guangming 古广明

He was a star in the 1980's.  He played for Guangzhou FC.  He went to Germany and played for SV Darmstadt 98 from 1987 to 1992, where he was a star player.  He was one of the first Chinese players to play in Europe. Gu led China narrowly missing the WC Finals in 1982.
Gu Guangming 

AM: Ma Mingyu 马明宇
Ma played mainly before Sichuan Quanxing from his home province Sichuan and joined Perugia briefly in 2000.  For the national team, he would play in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, 2000 AFC Asian Cup and captain China's campaign during the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

AM/FW: Rong Zhixing 容志行 
He was known as the "Chinese Pele".   He made his national team, debut in 1972 and retired in 1983.   He went to the Asian Cup in 1976.  He was a part of the team who narrowly missed out in qualifying for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, losing to New Zealand in a play-off. He was born on a ship heading to India from China.  He is from Taishan, Guangdong.

Rong Zhixing

FW: Zhao Dayu 赵达裕
Nicknamed "Dwarf Tiger" because of his short sature.  He went to the Asian Cup in 1984, where China finished second.  He played mainly for Guangdong FC.  He later played for Mitsubishi Motors F.C in Japan, where he would become a coach there.

ST: Ma Lin 马林
He played mainly Liaoning FC and won the 1988-1989 Asian Club Championship.  He played in the 1988 AFC Asian Cup, 1988 Summer Olympics and narrowly miss out of the in qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

ST: Liu Haiguang 柳海光
Liu spent the majority of his career playing for the Shanghai Team, however he gained distinction when he joined Yugoslav club FK Partizan along with Jia Xiuquan making them one of the earliest Chinese footballers to play in Europe.  On the international stage he represented China at the 1988 AFC Asian Cup and in the 1988 Summer Olympics. When he decided to retire from international football he had scored 36 goals for China national football team making him their top goalscorer. This record would however be broken by Hao Haidong several years later and currently Liu is the second highest goalscorer
Liu Haiguang
ST: Yang Chen 杨晨
He started his career with Beijing Guoan.  After a short loan spell with SV Waldhof Mannheim, he gained a transfer to Eintracht Frankfurt in 1998.  He became the first Chinese player in Bundesliga, scoring 21 goals with the club.

ST: Hao Haidong 郝海东
He is widely viewed as China's greatest striker.  He played 107 times for China.  Hao enjoyed a stellar international career by playing at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is the record top goalscorer with 41 goals for the Chinese national team.  For club football, He was best remembered for his years with Dalian Shide between 1997 and 2005, where he won 5 league titles. He also played for Baiyi and Sheffield United.

Hao Haidong

Honorable Mention
Zhao Junzhe 肇俊哲, Zhang Linpeng张琳芃, Li Bing 黎兵, Peng Weiguo 彭伟国, Jiang Jin 江津, Wu Lei 武磊Wu Chengying 吴承瑛, Gao Lin郜林, Li Jinyu 李金羽, Yang Xu杨旭, Su Maozhen宿茂臻,  Zhang Junxiu张俊秀, Chi Shangbin 迟尚斌, Zhang Enhua张恩华,  Li Ming 李明.

Squad Explanation
-- I only selected players from the PRC.  Most of the players played in the 1980's.  
-- Guangdong dominated football in the 1980's. Seven players on this team came from Guangdong
-- China qualified for the WC Finals in 2002.  I included eight members of the team: Hao Haidong, Fan Zhiyi, Ou Chuliang, Yang Chen, Sun Jihai, Ma Mingyu, Shao Jiayi and Li Tie 
-- Yang Chen played well in Germany, but not as good in China. 
-- Sun Jihai had the best career playing in Europe.  Fan Zhiyi also did well, but he played in the lower division with Crystal Palace.  Zheng Zhi also did fine while playing in England.
-- Rong Zhixing and Gu Guangming were probably two of China's biggest stars, but they were playing in an era when domestic league was not as well-known.  Gu Guangming later had the opportunity to play aboard in Germany.
-- Lee Wai Tong is probably the greatest Chinese player, but he represented the Republic of China in the 1930's.  He starred at the 1938 Olympics.  He was born in Hong Kong.  Liked Hong Kong players of his generation, he represented the Republic of China.
-- I like what Wu Lei doing in the Chinese Super League.  He might make it.
-- Zhang Junxiu(张俊秀) played in the 1950's before we knew too much about him. He is a keeper.

Starting lineup

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