Kitchee also holds the best record against Italian teams by a Hong Kong team. They defeated A.C. Milan 2–1 on 30 May 2004  and beat Juventus 5–3 on penalties (2–2 after regular time) on 4 June 2005  in a summer friendly match played in Hong Kong.
Following its return to the First Division in 2003, Kitchee became one of the most prominent teams in Hong Kong. Coached by Dejan Antonic, Kitchee won two trophys in one season (2005–2006) and in their 2006–07 season, the club secured 2nd place in the league, where champions South China had already qualified for AFC Cup as Hong Kong Senior Shield winner. As a result, Kitchee became one of the two Hong Kong representatives in 2008 AFC Cup.
In 2012, Kitchee Foundation submitted a successful proposal to The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for a youth football training centre. The club received over HK$44 million from the trust for the establishment of a centre at Shek Mun, Shatin, New Territories. It will be called the Jockey Club Kitchee Centre, which will open in 2014. The trust's input will be sufficient for 90% of the costs of the centre, while proceeds from the Kitchee vs Arsenal exhibition match will also go into developing the centre.
In July 2012, Kitchee played an exhibition match against Arsenal FC for The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust Challenge Cup, drawing 2–2 in front of a full house at the Hong Kong Stadium. This was Arsenal's first time in Hong Kong for 17 years. In October 2012, Arsenal further donated HK$780,000 to Kitchee Foundation in support of the youth training centre.
Kitchee played Manchester United in Hong Kong during the summer of 2013 after Kitchee Foundation received HK$8 million from the Mega Events Fund to host the match. The game took place on 2 August 2013, Manchester United won 2-5.