China PR national football team
Lóng Zhī Duì
(National Football Team)
|Association||Chinese Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||EAFF (East Asia)|
|Head coach||José Camacho|
|Most caps||Li Weifeng (114)|
|Top scorer||Hao Haidong (37)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||37 (December 1998)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||109 (March 2013)|
|Highest Elo ranking||26 (October 2001)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||80 (December 2008)|
| Philippines 2–1 Republic of China
(Manila, Philippines; February 4, 1913)
Finland 4–0 China PR
(Helsinki, Finland; August 4, 1952)
| China PR 19–0 Guam
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; January 26, 2000)
SK Admira 11–0 Republic of China
(Vienna, Austria; August 16, 1936)
Brazil 8–0 China PR
(Recife, Brazil; September 10, 2012)
|Appearances||1 (First in 2002)|
|Best result||Round 1, 2002|
|Appearances||9 (First in 1976)|
|Best result||Runners-Up, 1984 and 2004|
The China PR national football team (Chinese: 中国国家足球队; pinyin: Zhōngguó Guójiā Zúqiú Duì; literally "Chinese National Soccer Team"), nicknamed The Dragon or The Great Wall is the national association football team of the People's Republic of China and is governed by the Chinese Football Association. The team is colloquially referred to as "Team China" (中国队), the "National Team" (国家队) or "Guózú" (国足, short for 国家足球, which means "national football").
The team was founded in 1924 in the Republic of China under the auspices of the China Football Association and joined FIFA in 1931. Following the Chinese Civil War, the CFA was formed in the newly founded People's Republic of China. They remained affiliated with FIFA until 1958, when they withdrew, but they rejoined in 1979. After the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom in 1997, and Macau from Portugal in 1999, these two special administrative regions have continued to have their own teams, which play as "Hong Kong, China" and "Macau, China", respectively.
China have won the East Asian Cup twice in 2005 and 2010, they have been runners-up at the Asian Cup twice in 1984 and 2004. Although China failed to score a goal in their maiden FIFA World Cup appearance in 2002, losing all their matches, just qualifying for the tournament has been considered the greatest accomplishment in their football history.
As football is widely followed in China, national team success is considered to be a source of national pride. Around 300 million people tuned into broadcasts of China's 2002 World Cup matches with a staggering 170 million new television sets being bought by citizens in order to watch their nation's first World Cup appearance. There were over 250 million viewers for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final, the largest single-event sports audience in the country's history.
China, under the newly instated People's Republic of China, played their first match on 4 August 1952, a friendly against Finland, with Finland being one of the first nations to hold diplomatic relations with China.
For nearly 30 years, China primarily only played friendly matches with nations that recognized the PRC, such as Albania, Burma, Cambodia, Guinea, Hungary, Mongolia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, Sudan and the United Arab Republic. They however also participated in 1958 World Cup qualifying, where they lost to Indonesia on goal average.
Chinese football began to grow in popularity in the beginning of the late 1980s through the introduction of televisions in Chinese households. Previously, the most popular international sports in China were badminton and table tennis.
In 1980, China competed in qualifying for a berth in the 1982 World Cup finals, but they lost a play-off game against New Zealand. During the qualifying for the 1986 World Cup, China faced Hong Kong in Beijing in the final match of the first qualifying round on 19 May 1985, where China only needed a draw to advance. However, Hong Kong produced a 2–1 upset win, which resulted in riots between local fans. In qualifying for the 1990 World Cup, China again reached the final round of qualifying but lost to Qatar in their final group game. During the qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup they failed to reach the final round of qualifying, coming second behind Iraq. China was on the verge of making it through the qualifying for the 1998 World Cup but lost crucial matches at home against Qatar and Iran.
On 26 January 2000, China beat Guam 19–0 in 2000 Asian Cup qualification, which was the world record for the largest victory margin in an international football match at the time. The record however was broken by Kuwait 19 days later.
On 7 October 2001, China, under the direction of head coach Bora Milutinović, advanced to the 2002 World Cup; the first time China had reached a World Cup. However, they failed to score a single goal, losing all three group matches and were eliminated in the group stage.
|China PR national football team|
|The players of the China PR national football team prior to taking on Australia in a World Cup qualification game on 22 June 2008. The match was played at Stadium Australia in Sydney.|
|Literal meaning||The Great Wall|
In November 2004, the team failed to advance through the preliminary qualification stage for the 2006 World Cup, losing out to Kuwait on goals difference, despite China's seven goals against Hong Kong in the last qualifying match. Head coach Arie Haan was later replaced by Zhu Guanghu.
In August 2005, China won the 2005 East Asian Football Championship with a 1–1 draw against Korea Republic, 2–2 draw against Japan and a 2–0 victory against Korea DPR. It became their first international title ever.
While qualifying for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup in 2006, the team became the subject of immense criticism in the media and a national embarrassment when they had managed to score only one goal (a Shao Jiayi penalty kick well during the dying moments injury time) against Singapore at home in Tianjin, and only managed a draw with the Southeast Asian city-state in the away game. In preparation for the 2007 Asian Cup, the team spent the weeks leading up to the tournament on a tour of the United States. While the 4–1 loss to the United States was not unexpected, a 1–0 loss to a Real Salt Lake team that finished bottom of the MLS that season caused serious concern.
During the Asian Cup 2007, the team played three games, winning against Malaysia, drawing with Iran after leading 2–1 at half time, and losing to 3–0 Uzbekistan. After high expectations, China's performance drew immense criticism on online communities, which condemned the coach Zhu Guanghu, players, and the Chinese Football Association in general. Zhu was later replaced by Vladimir Petrović for this poor performance. Some commented that China's reliance on foreign coaches for the past decade had been an indicator of its poor domestic coach development system.
Gao Hongbo era 
In April 2009, China appointed the young Gao Hongbo as coach, replacing Yin Tiesheng. His arrival saw China opting for a new strategy, turning towards ground passing tactics and adopting the 4–2–3–1 formation. It was noted that Chinese footballers had relied too heavily on the long balls and header strategy for almost a decade. Above all, Wei Di, the chief of the Chinese Football Association, stressed that, "Anytime, no matter win or loss, they must show their team spirit and courage. I hope, after one year's effort, the national team can give the public a new image."
Under Gao, China drew its first game against Germany 1-1 during a friendly in May 2009. Afterwards, China were able to gain 13 points in the Asian Cup qualifications for 2011. This led to a revival in interest amongst some Chinese football fans, as China had also won 1-0 against France in June 2010, as well as holding World Cup quarter finalsts Paraguay to a 1-1 draw in September 2010. With some even thinking that reaching the semi finals of the Asian Cup being possible. However during the tournament itself, China were knocked out in the group stages. This led to some discontent amongst Chinese fans, plus it also seems that this was the reason that eventually led to the replacement of Gao by the CFA. Although Gao's winning percentage (65%) was the highest for a Chinese manager since Nian Weisi (67.86%), and has not been defeated since the end of the Asian Cup in 2011, this was still not enough to convince the CFA of replacing him. And in August 2011, he was replaced by José Antonio Camacho, less than a month before the World Cup qualifiers for 2014.
But corruption still remains a problem in Chinese football, and in 2010, Wei admitted that recently, "Chinese football has degraded to an intolerable level. It has hurt the feelings of fans and Chinese people at large", he added that he was confident in being able to aid Chinese men's and women's football return to the leading status in Asia and world respectively in future. Wei pointed out six major problems which had caused the "huge slump" of Chinese football in the past few years, while he dissected the dwindling pool of young player selection as being a big problem along with unhealthy professional leagues affected by gambling and match fixing scandals.
Appointment of José Antonio Camacho 
On 13 August 2011, José Antonio Camacho of Spain was appointed as the head coach of the Chinese national football team, signing a three year deal. The Chinese Football Association head Wei Di explained the decision as being part of a long-term plan to help the country catch up with Japan and South Korea. Wei noted that, "Compared with our neighbours Japan and South Korea, Chinese football is lagging far behind, we need to work with a long-term view and start to catch up with a pragmatic approach. A lot of our fans expect China to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. They are afraid that changing the coach at the last moment may cause bad effect to the team's qualifying prospect. I can totally understand that. But we do not have any time to waste."
Chinese Soccer Administrative Centre vice-president Yu Hongchen explained that, "The qualifying stage of 2014 World Cup is just a temporary task for him. Even if the task is failed, Camacho will not lose the job. When we started to find a new coach for the national team, we mainly focus on European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. First of all, they have advanced football concepts, and secondly they have a productive youth training system, which we can learn from. We hope he can help us to find a suitable style."
However, China was still unable to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, after 3 win in 6 matches. During a friendly versus Spain, in 2012, many football experts and pundits alike expected Spain to easily steamroll China into defeat. However, many critics were stunned to find China and Spain still deadlocked 0-0 until the 84th minute when a David Silva goal gave Spain the only goal for the win. Even though they lost, this performance was viewed highly in the Chinese media as well as Zeng Cheng, China's goalkeeper, who made a number of exceptional saves from La Furia Roja. China went on to face Vietnam, a few days later, where they easily won 3-0 with a brace from Gao Lin and Feng Renliang. Dissapointment would soon strike again, two months later, when China faced Sweden only to lose 1-0 with the lone goal coming minutes after the 2nd half. Camacho coached a young squad to a 8-0 loss against Brazil's newcomers. It was the worst defeat for China since the lost to the United States in 1992.
The Workers Stadium (simplified Chinese: 工人体育场; traditional Chinese: 工人體育場; Pinyin: Gōngrén Tǐyùcháng) is a multi-purpose stadium in Beijing with a capacity of 70,161. It was built in 1959 and was last renovated in 2004. It is mostly used for football matches and was the main venue for the 1990 Asian Games, where the opening and closing ceremonies took place. Beijing Guoan also use the stadium to play their home league games.
Also used frequently by the China team is the Kunming Tuodong Sports Center (simplified Chinese: 昆明拓东体育场; traditional Chinese: 昆明拓東體育場) which is a multi-purpose stadium in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The stadium holds 40,000 people. It has been used for international friendly matches since 2010, and recently chosen for the home ground for 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification matches.
China's traditional home kit is all red with a white trim while their away kit is traditionally an inverted version of the home kit, fully white with a red trim. During the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, China employed a third kit which was all blue with a white trim and was used against Saudi Arabia. China's current kit is produced and manufactured by Adidas. Recently, the team has started to use cooling vests in certain climates.
Traditionally, China's greatest rival has been Japan although this is not reciprocated from the Japanese side (their biggest rival being South Korea). This was exemplified after Japan beat China 3–1 in the final of the 2004 AFC Asian Cup, when Chinese fans began to riot near the north gate of Beijing's Workers Stadium. The rioting was said to be provoked by controversial officiating and the heightened anti-Japanese sentiment at the time. China's most recent major tournament meeting with Japan was at the 2010 East Asian Football Championship in Tokyo, where the two sides drew 0–0. China went on to win the tournament.
Another well-known rivalry is with neighbour South Korea. China played 27 matches against Korea between 1978 and 2010 without winning a single match (11 draws and 16 losses). The media coined the term "Koreaphobia" to describe this phenomenon, and China registered its first win against Korea on 10 February 2010 when it won 3–0 in the 2010 East Asian Football Championship, eventually going on to win the tournament.
Media coverage 
Coaching staff 
|Head Coach||José Antonio Camacho||Spain|
|Tactics coach||José Ródenas Carcelén||Spain|
|Fitness coach||Fernando Gaspar Laborie||Spain|
Current squad 
Match Date: 22 March 2013 Opposition: Iraq
Caps and goals correct as of: 22 March 2013
Recent call-ups 
The following players have been called up within the last twelve months.
Previous squads 
- FIFA World Cup squads
- AFC Asian Cup squads
- 2011 AFC Asian Cup squad
- 2007 AFC Asian Cup squad
- 2004 AFC Asian Cup squad
- 2000 AFC Asian Cup squad
- 1996 AFC Asian Cup squad
- 1992 AFC Asian Cup squad
- 1988 AFC Asian Cup squad
Recent and forthcoming fixtures 
|Friendly 22 February 2012||China PR||2 – 0||Kuwait||Changsha, China|
|16:00 UTC+08:00||Gao Lin 45+2'
Yu Dabao 78'
|[Report]||Stadium: Changsha He Long Stadium
|2014 FIFA World Cup qualification 29 February 2012||China PR||3 – 1||Jordan||Guangzhou, China|
|16:00 UTC+08:00||Hao Junmin 43', 69'
Yu Dabao 88'
|[Report]||85' Fat'hi||Stadium: Guangzhou University City Stadium
Referee: Vo Minh Tri
|Friendly 3 June 2012||Spain||1 – 0||China PR||Seville, Spain|
|19:35 UTC+08:00||Silva 84'||Report||Stadium: Estadio de La Cartuja
Referee: Bas Nijhuis
|Friendly 8 June 2012||China PR||3 – 0||Vietnam||Wuhan, China|
|19:35 UTC+08:00||Gao Lin 9', 63'
Feng Renliang 35'
|[Report]||Stadium: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium
Referee: Ko Hyung-Jin
|Friendly 15 August 2012||China PR||1 – 1||Ghana||Beijing, China|
|Gao Lin 57'||[Report]||Boakye 80'||Stadium: Workers Stadium
|Friendly 6 September 2012||Sweden||1 – 0||China PR||Helsingborg, Sweden|
|Elmander 47'||[Report]||Stadium: Olympia Stadium
|Friendly 10 September 2012||Brazil||8 – 0||China PR||Recife, Brazil|
Neymar 25', 53', 59'
Liu Jianye 69' (o.g.)
Oscar 75' (pen.)
|[Report]||Stadium: Estádio do Arruda
|Friendly 14 November 2012||China PR||1 – 1||New Zealand||Shanghai, China|
|Zhao Peng 32'||Wood 44'||Stadium: Hongkou Football Stadium
|Friendly 30 January 2013||Oman||1 – 0||China PR||Muscat, Oman|
|Yaqoob Abdul-Karim 11'||Stadium: King Abdullah Stadium
|2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification 6 February 2013||Saudi Arabia||2 – 1||China PR||Riyadh, Saudi Arabia|
|Fahad Al-Muwallad 23'
Naif Hazazi 77'
|Zhao Xuri 29'||Stadium: King Fahd International Stadium
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
|2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification 22 March 2013||China PR||1 – 0||Iraq||Changsha, China|
|Yu Dabao 90+3'||Stadium: Changsha He Long Stadium
Referee: Ben Williams (Australia)
|Friendly 6 June 2013||China PR||v||Uzbekistan||Hohhot, China|
|Friendly 11 June 2013||China PR||v||Netherlands||Beijing, China|
|Friendly 15 June 2013||China PR||v||Thailand||Nanjing, China|
|2013 East Asian Cup 21 July 2013||Japan||v||China PR||Hwaseong, South Korea|
|21:00 (UTC+9)||Stadium: Hwaseong Stadium
Referee: Ben Williams (Australia)
|2013 East Asian Cup 24 July 2013||South Korea||v||China PR||Seoul, South Korea|
|20:00 (UTC+9)||Stadium: Seoul World Cup Stadium
|2013 East Asian Cup 28 July 2013||Australia||v||China PR||Seoul, South Korea|
|17:15 (UTC+9)||Stadium: Jamsil Olympic Stadium
|Friendly 10 September 2013||China PR||v||Mali||China|
|2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification 15 October 2013||Indonesia||v||China PR||Jakarta, Indonesia|
|Stadium: Gelora Bung Karno Stadium
|2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification 15 November 2013||China PR||v||Indonesia||Xi'an, China|
|2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification 19 November 2013||China PR||v||Saudi Arabia||Xi'an, China|
|2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification 5 March 2014||Iraq||v||China PR||TBD|
Competitive record 
All time results 
Competition history 
FIFA World Cup record 
AFC Asian Cup record 
Olympic Games record 
* Including 1988 onwards
Asian Games record 
* Including 1998 onwards (until 2010)
East Asian Cup record 
Far Eastern Championship Games record 
Most capped players 
Still active national team players are highlighted
Top goalscorers 
As of 5 December 2012, the ten highest scorers for China are:
List of head coaches 
|7||Nian Weisi (2nd time)||1965–1973||28||19||6||3||97||40||67.86%|
|Nian Weisi||1974–1976||27||14||5||8||58||40||51.85%||3rd place at the 1976 AFC Asian Cup|
|9||Nian Weisi (3rd time)||1978||14||8||1||5||25||12||57.14%||Bronze medal at the 1978 Asian Games|
|10||Zhang Honggen (2nd time)||1979||0||0||0||0||0||0||00.00%|
|11||Nian Weisi (4th time)||1980||5||2||2||1||11||4||40.00%|
|13||Zhang Honggen (3rd time)||1982||10||3||5||2||11||10||30.00%|
|14||Zeng Xuelin||1983–1985||42||24||6||12||99||35||57.14%||Runners-up of the 1984 AFC Asian Cup|
|15||Nian Weisi (5th time)||1985–1986||26||14||7||5||44||24||53.85%|
|16||Gao Fengwen||1986–1990||56||27||13||16||112||40||48.21%||4th place at the 1988 AFC Asian Cup|
|*||Chen Xirong (caretaker)||1992||5||3||0||2||9||10||60.00%|
|18||Klaus Schlappner||1992–1993||25||9||6||10||35||27||36.00%||3rd place at the 1992 AFC Asian Cup|
|19||Qi Wusheng||1994–1997||55||27||13||15||97||60||49.09%||Silver medal at the 1994 Asian Games|
|20||Bobby Houghton||1997–1999||17||10||3||4||36||15||58.82%||Bronze medal at the 1998 Asian Games|
|*||Jin Zhiyang (caretaker)||2000||5||5||0||0||31||0||100.00%|
|21||Bora Milutinović||Jan 2000 – Jun 2002||46||20||11||15||75||50||43.48%||Round 1 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup
4th place at the 2000 AFC Asian Cup
|*||Shen Xiangfu (caretaker)||2002||3||1||2||0||5||3||33.33%|
|22||Arie Haan||Dec 2002 – Nov 2004||30||17||7||6||52||22||56.67%||Runners-up of the 2004 AFC Asian Cup|
|23||Zhu Guanghu||Mar 2005 – Jul 2007||27||9||6||12||35||37||33.33%||Winners of the East Asian Cup 2005|
|24|| Vladimir Petrović
|Sep 2007 – Jun 2008||18||6||7||5||28||16||33.33%||Third place at the East Asian Cup 2008|
|*||Yin Tiesheng (caretaker)||Dec 2008 – Jan 2009||6||2||0||4||11||12||33.33%|
|25||Gao Hongbo||Apr 2009 – Aug 2011||38||24||10||4||65||31||60.53%||Winners of 2010 EAFC|
|26||José Antonio Camacho||Aug 2011 –||16||6||2||8||18||22||37.50%|
- Champions: 1915, 1917, 1919, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1927, 1930, 1934
- Runners-up: 1913
- Runners-up: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986
See also 
References and notes 
- China team stats (caps)
- China team stats (goals)
- "国足一场输到解放前 "最大惨案"曾是11:0". People.com.cn. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- Neil Morrison. "Chinese Olympic team 1936". RSSSF. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
- "Asian Cup final smashes viewing records". The AFC. 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "China National Football Team Database". China National Football Team Database. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
- China Daily. Jobless Haan reflects China's football crisis. 2004-11-20.
- "New boss vows to revive China's football in 5 years". CHINAdaily. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- France suffer shock defeat
- Jose Antonio Camacho's appointment is part of a long-term revival plan: China Football Association head Wei Di
- Saudi vs China AFC Cup 1996
- ESPNSoccernet. 'Hand of Koji' brings Japan third title Aug. 8, 2004
- Chinese Football Association Official Website (Chinese)
- Team China Official Website (Chinese)
- Team China Official Website (English)
- Team China at Sina Website (Chinese)
- Profile on FIFA (English)
- Profile on AFC (English)
- Profile on EAFF (English)
- China National Football Team Database (English)
- RSSSF archive list of international matches up to 2005
- Great Wall Cup of Beijing international youth football tournament in China
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