|Full name||Dong Fangzhuo|
|Date of birth||23 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Dalian, Liaoning, China|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Current club||Hunan Billows|
|2004–2006||→ Royal Antwerp (loan)||71||(34)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 October 2012.
† Appearances (Goals).
Dong first came to prominence in 2000 when he was named Player of the Tournament in an U-17 football competition. He signed for Dalian Saidelong and helped them to finish as runners-up in the Chinese B League in 2002. This earned him selection to the Chinese Under-23 national team, and a move to Dalian Shide, the most successful club team in China. Dong scored his first goal for Dalian Shide in the second match of the qualifying stages of the 2002–03 AFC Champions League.
Dong signed for Manchester United from Dalian Shide in January 2004, for an initial fee of £500,000 which could have risen to £3.5 million, depending upon appearances. He thus became the first East Asian player to sign for Manchester United.
After signing for Manchester United, he was unable to play for the senior team immediately because he was ineligible for a work permit. Due to these legal issues, Dong was loaned out to get first-team experience at Royal Antwerp in Belgium where the employment laws were less strict.
In his first season, he scored one goal in nine appearances as he began to get used to his new environment. His second season (2004–05) began more promisingly, finding the net in six of his first seven appearances of the season (all as a substitute). However, disrupted by injury and international duty with the Chinese youth team, his form fell away in the latter half of the season as he finished with seven goals in 22 appearances in all competitions. At the beginning of the following season, he was called up to join Manchester United on their 2005 pre-season tour of Asia and given squad number 43. He was given his unofficial début for Manchester United in a friendly against a Hong Kong team and capped it off with a goal in a 2–0 victory.
In the 2005–06 season for Royal Antwerp, Dong impressed as he finished as the top scorer for both his team and the Belgian Second Division with 18 goals including two hat-tricks. In 2006, he again joined Manchester United on a pre-season tour which this time was in South Africa. He scored the winner in a 1–0 win over Kaizer Chiefs. Alex Ferguson remarked that Dong had the "speed and physicality" to play for United and hoped that he would be eligible for Manchester United in December 2006. It was reported that Dong could obtain Belgian citizenship. However, this option would have caused Dong to lose his Chinese citizenship and was never considered.
He began the 2006–07 season in fine form for Antwerp scoring 11 goals in 15 appearances. On 15 December 2006, almost three years after his original signing, Dong was finally given a UK work permit having made enough appearances for the China national football team in the preceding two years. With his eligibility confirmed, he was recalled from Antwerp, given a new contract until 2010 and added to Manchester United's first-team squad on 17 January 2007. He was given squad number 21.
Dong made his Old Trafford début for Manchester United in a friendly charity match against a European XI on 13 March 2007. He came on as a substitute for Alan Smith in the 72nd minute of the 4–3 victory. He was a regular for Manchester United Reserves, and on 9 May 2007, Dong made his Premier League début for United against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, partnering Ole Gunnar Solskjær up front.
On 12 December 2007, Dong made his first 2007–08 UEFA Champions League appearance as a substitute in United's last match of the qualifying stages against Roma, replacing fellow striker Wayne Rooney. With that appearance, Dong became the second Chinese player to participate in UEFA Champions League (the first being Sun Xiang). However, he made only one further appearance for the club during the 2007–08 season, playing the full 90 minutes of the 2–0 League Cup defeat to Coventry City. He was able to score four goals in three matches in the reserves before suffering an injury.
Prior to the start of the 2008–09 season, Dong was not given a squad number, with the number 21 shirt given to Rafael da Silva. On 28 August 2008, Dong and Manchester United mutually agreed that his contract should be terminated in order for him to find first team football elsewhere.
Return to China
On 27 August 2008, Chinese online media Sina.com reported that Dong Fangzhuo would join Chinese Super League club Dalian Shide. He was handed the No.9 shirt which was previously worn by famous Chinese striker Hao Haidong. Although his experience at Manchester United meant that expectations of him were high, his performances in the Chinese Super League upon his return were very poor. Dong struggled to score goals, and was relegated to the reserves as a result. His poor performances in the league also prevented him from being called up for the Chinese National Team.
Return to Europe
After attending training camps with Legia Warsaw in Spain and Cyprus, Dong signed an 18-month deal with an option for two more years depending on performance with the club. Despite impressing in the pre-season frendlies, in the league Dong looked desperately out of his depth and managed to notch just two short appearances before dropping to the reserves. He was released by Legia on 1 August 2010. On the back of ex-Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo's recommendation, Portimonense signed Dong to a one-year deal in August 2010. Dong was not used often and was on the bench for most of his time at Portimonense. He grew frustrated with his lack of playing time and terminated his contract with Portimonense. In March 2011, after a very short stint with Portimonense, Dong signed for Mika from the Armenian Premier League. At the end of season, he left Mika for Chinese second tier club Hunan Billows.
Dong was in the Chinese youth team that participated in the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship. He came off the bench to play in three out of the four matches China played. Dong scored his first goal for the senior Chinese national team in a 4–1 loss to Switzerland in a friendly pre-2006 World Cup warm-up match. He was also part of the China squad for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification tournament.
Dong was named to the 18-man Chinese national team that competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics. In China's opening match against New Zealand, Dong replaced Han Peng in the 79th minute. He went on to score China's first Olympic goal in the 88th minute, securing a draw and a point for the home nation.
|2002||Dalian Saidelong||China||Jia-B League||?||2||0||0||?||2|
|2003||Dalian Shide||China||Jia-A League||8||0||0||0||8||0|
|2003–04||Royal Antwerp||Belgium||First Division||9||1||0||0||9||1|
|2006–07||Manchester United||England||Premier League||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|2008||Dalian Shide||China||Chinese Super League||11||0||0||0||11||0|
|2011||Mika||Armenia||Armenian Premier League||21||4||3||2||24||6|
|2012||Hunan Billows||China||China League One||25||7||0||0||25||7|
- Scores and results list China PR's goal tally first.
|1||3 June 2006||Hardturm, Zürich||Switzerland||1–4||1–4||Friendly|
- (Chinese)董方卓：回国时就和申花联系过 若冲超成功会留守 (Chinese)
- "Man Utd sign Shide striker Dong Fangzhuo". CHINAdaily. 13 January 2004. Retrieved 28 February 2007.
- "Chinese striker Dong leaves Manchester United". Stuff.co.nz. Reuters. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
- "Dong close to Man Utd clearance". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 19 July 2006. Retrieved 28 February 2007.
- "Man Utd gain work permit for Dong". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 December 2006. Retrieved 28 February 2007.
- "New United deal for Dong". Sky Sports. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 28 February 2007.
- McNulty, Phil (9 May 2007). "Chelsea 0–0 Man Utd". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 23 August 2007.
- Tuck, James (28 August 2008). "Reds confirm Dong exit". ManUtd.com (Manchester United). Retrieved 20 March 2011.
- Dong Fangzhuo says goodbye to United and joins Dalian, wearing No.9 Sina Sport, 27 August 2008.
- Zheng and Dong head China soccer squad for Beijing
- Dong Secures Draw For China
- Yin, Yang & Football
- Dong Fangzhuo career stats at Soccerbase
- Stats at Soccerway
- (Dutch) Stats at Royal Antwerp F.C.
- Dong Fangzhuo at National-Football-Teams.com