China national football team
|Nickname(s)||龙之队 Lóngzhī Duì
(National Football Team)
|Association||Chinese Football Association|
|Sub-confederation||EAFF (East Asia)|
|Head coach||Alain Perrin|
|Most caps||Li Weifeng (112)|
|Top scorer||Hao Haidong (41)|
|FIFA ranking||82 1 (9 April 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||37 (December 1998)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||109 (March 2013)|
|Elo ranking||61 (31 March 2015)|
|Highest Elo ranking||25 (13 October 2001)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||80 (December 2008)|
| Philippines 0–1 Republic of China
(Manila, Philippines; 1 February 1913)
| China PR 19–0 Guam
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 26 January 2000)
| Brazil 8–0 China PR
(Recife, Brazil; 10 September 2012)
|Appearances||1 (First in 2002)|
|Best result||Round 1: 2002|
|Appearances||11 (First in 1976)|
|Best result||Runners-up: 1984 & 2004|
The Chinese national football team (Chinese: 中国国家足球队; pinyin: Zhōngguó Guójiā Zúqiú Duì), recognized as China PR by FIFA, 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 by the Republic of China and joined FIFA in 1931. Following the Chinese Civil War, the Chinese Football Association was formed in the newly founded People's Republic of China. They remained affiliated with FIFA until 1958, when they withdrew, but they rejoined the organization 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 separate national teams which play as "Hong Kong" and "Macau, China" respectively.
China has won the EAFF East Asian Cup twice in 2005 and 2010 and have been runners-up at the AFC Asian Cup twice in 1984 and 2004. Although China failed to score a goal in their FIFA World Cup debut appearance during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, losing all their matches, just qualifying for the tournament has been considered the greatest accomplishment in the country's football history.
Though modern football lacks a long history in China, there were an estimated 250 million viewers for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final, the largest single-event sports audience in the country's history at that time.
- 1 History
- 2 Stadium
- 3 Kit
- 4 Rivalries
- 5 Media coverage
- 6 Coaching staff
- 7 Players
- 8 Recent and forthcoming fixtures
- 9 Competitive record
- 10 Competition history
- 11 Statistics
- 12 Honours
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The Chinese Football Association was founded in 1924 and has been affiliated with the FIFA since 1931. China, under the newly instated People's Republic of China, played their first match on 4 August 1952 against Finland, with Finland being one of the first nations to hold diplomatic relations with China.
For nearly thirty years, China primarily only played friendly matches with nations that recognized the country such as Albania, Burma, Cambodia, Guinea, Hungary, Mongolia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Pakistan, Sudan, the Soviet Union, and the United Arab Republic. However, they also participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification where they lost to Indonesia on goal average.
During the late 1980s, Chinese football began to grow in popularity through the introduction of televisions in Chinese households. Previously, the most popular international sports in China were badminton and table tennis.
In 1980, China participated in the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification for a berth in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, but they lost a play-off game against New Zealand. During the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, China faced Hong Kong at home 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. During the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualification for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, China again reached the final round of qualifying but lost to Qatar in their final group match. During the 1994 FIFA World Cup for the 1994 FIFA 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 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup but lost crucial matches at home against Qatar and Iran.
On 26 January 2000, China beat Guam 19-0 during the 2000 Asian Cup qualification which was the world record for the largest victory margin in an international football match at the time; however, the record was broken by Kuwait nineteen days later.
On 7 October 2001, China, under the direction of manager Bora Milutinović, advanced to the 2002 FIFA World Cup which was the first time China had ever qualified for the FIFA World Cup. However, they failed to score a single goal at the tournament, lost all three group matches, and were subsequently eliminated in the group stage.
|China national football team|
|Literal meaning||The Great Wall|
In November 2004, China failed to advance through the preliminary qualification stage for the 2006 World Cup, losing out to Kuwait on goal difference,despite China's seven goals against Hong Kong in the last qualifying match. Manager Arie Haan was later replaced by Zhu Guanghu after the qualification process.
In August 2005, China won the 2005 East Asian Football Championship, its first ever international title, with a 1-1 draw against South Korea, 2-2 draw against Japan, and a 2-0 win against North Korea.
During the qualification process for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup in 2006, the team became the subject of immense criticism and national embarrassment in the media when they had managed to score only one goal, Shao Jiayi's penalty kick during injury time, against Singapore at home and only managed a draw with Singapore in the away game. During preparations for the 2007 AFC 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 Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake which finished bottom of the league in the 2007 season caused serious concern.
During the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the team played three group matches, winning against Malaysia, drawing with Iran after leading 2-1, and losing 3-0 to Uzbekistan. After high expectations, China's performance at the tournament drew immense criticism on online communities which condemned the manager, the players, and even the Chinese Football Association. Zhu was later replaced as manager by Vladimir Petrović after the poor performances. Some commented that China's reliance on foreign managers for the past decade had been an indicator of its poor domestic manager development.
In June 2008, China failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, losing against Qatar and Iraq at home. After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Petrović was sacked as the manager and Yin Tiesheng was announced as the team's caretaker.
Gao Hongbo era
In April 2009, China appointed the young Gao Hongbo as the new manager, replacing Yin Tiesheng. His arrival saw China opt 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 ball tactic for almost a decade. 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 in May 2009. Afterwards, China were able to gain 13 points in the during the qualification process for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. 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 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists Paraguay to a 1-1 draw in September 2010. This led to some supporters even thinking that reaching the semi-finals of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup was possible; however, China were knocked out in the group stages during the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. This led to some discontent amongst Chinese fans and it seemed that this was the reason that eventually led to the sacking of Gao as manager by the Chinese Football Association. Although Gao's winning percentage (65%) was the highest for a Chinese manager since Nian Weisi (67.86%) as well as the team having not lost since the end of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, this was still not enough to convince the Chinese Football Association of replacing Gao. In August 2011, he was formally sacked as manager and replaced by José Antonio Camacho, less than a month before the qualification process for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
But corruption still remained a major problem in Chinese football and in 2010, Wei admitted that, "Chinese football has degraded to an intolerable level. It has hurt the feelings of fans and Chinese people at large." He also 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 the 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 youth 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 was appointed as the new manager of the team, signing a three-year deal for a reported annual salary of $8 million. Wei Di, the chief of the Chinese Football Association, explained the decision as being part of a long-term plan to help the country catch up with rivals Japan and South Korea. He 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."
Yu Hongchen, the vice-president of the Chinese Football Administrative Centre, also stated, "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 failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after only finishing third place in the third round of qualifying during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, with three wins and three losses out of six games played.
In June 2012, during a friendly match against Spain, many football experts and pundits alike expected Spain to easily steamroll China. However, many critics were stunned to find China and Spain still deadlocked 0-0 until the 84th minute when a goal from David Silva won the match 1-0 for Spain. Even though they lost, this performance was viewed highly in the media. However, disappointment would soon strike again two months later when China faced Sweden in a friendly only to lose 1-0 with the lone goal coming minutes after the second half. Several months later, Camacho managed a youthful team to an 8-0 loss against Brazil on 10 September 2012 which would go on record as China's worst ever international defeat in the team's history. This massive loss also succumbed China to their worst ever FIFA ranking (109th). It was the worst defeat for China since their loss to the United States in 1992.
After a disappointing qualification process for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Camacho led China during their qualification process for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup where in the first group match China lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia. Camacho then managed China on 15 June 2013 against Thailand in a shocking 5-1 loss to a team ranked 142 and 47 places below China. This embarrassing loss then saw Camacho subsequently sacked a week as manager after immense pressure from the media with Fu Bo assigned as the caretaker.
Alain Perrin era
After Alain Perrin was announced as the new manager in March 2014, China continued through the qualification process for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, qualifying for the tournament by being the best third-placed team. After undergoing a ten match unbeaten streak before the tournament, China won their first group match at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup 1-0 against Saudi Arabia through a deflected free kick from Yu Hai. They won their second group match 2-1 against Uzbekistan and subsequently qualified for the knockout stage as the group winner. This was the first time in eleven years that China were not eliminated during the group stage. China won 2-1 against North Korea in their final group match; however, the team was knocked out by in a 2-0 against by Australia during the quarter-finals.
The Worker's 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.
Also used frequently by the team is the Kunming Tuodong Sports Center (昆明拓东体育场) which is a multi-purpose stadium in Kunming. The stadium has a capacity of approximately 40,000. It has been used several times for international friendlies since 2010 and was chosen as the home ground for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification.
China's home kit is traditionally 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 during the tournament. The team has also started to use cooling vests in certain warmer climates. After decades of having Adidas producing the team's kits, China's current kit has been produced and manufactured by Nike since 2015.
Traditionally, China's greatest rival has been Japan. This was exemplified after Japan beat China 3-1 in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final when Chinese fans began to riot near the north gate of the Worker's Stadium. The rioting was said to be provoked by controversial officiating during the tournament and the heightened anti-Japanese sentiment at the time. China's most recent tournament meeting with Japan was at the 2013 East Asian Cup where the two sides drew 3-3. China went on to finish as runners-up in the tournament behind Japan who finished as champions.
Another well-known rivalry is also with fellow neighbour South Korea. China played 27 matches against South Korea between 1978 and 2010, a span of 32 years, without winning a single match (11 draws and 16 losses). The media coined the term "Koreaphobia" to describe this phenomenon, but China finally registered its first win against South Korea on 10 February 2010, winning 3-0 during the 2010 East Asian Football Championship and eventually going on to win the tournament.
|Head coach||Alain Perrin||France|
|Assistant coach||Ali Boumnijel||Tunisia|
|Goalkeeper coach||Ou Chuliang||China|
|Tactics analyst||Yu Yue||China|
|Technical employee||Li Haipeng||China|
The following players have been called up within the last twelve months.
Recent and forthcoming fixtures
|2015 Asian Cup qual. 5 March 2014||Iraq||3 – 1||China PR||Sharjah, United Arab Emirates|
|Mahmoud 23', 43'
|Report||Zhang Xizhe 73' (pen.)||Stadium: Sharjah Stadium
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
|Friendly 18 June 2014||China PR||2 – 0||Macedonia||Shenyang, China|
|Yu Hanchao 57'
Gao Di 89'
|Report||Stadium: Shenyang Olympic Sports Center Stadium
Referee: Tong Kui Sum (Hong Kong)
|Friendly 22 June 2014||China PR||0 – 0||Macedonia||Jinan, China|
|Report||Stadium: Shandong Provincial Stadium
Referee: Ng Kai Lam (Hong Kong)
|Friendly 29 June 2014||China PR||1 – 3||Mali||Shenzhen, China|
|Gao Lin 75'||Report||Traoré 37'
|Stadium: Bao'an Stadium
Referee: Nagor Amir Mohamed (Malaysia)
|Friendly 4 September 2014||China PR||3 – 1||Kuwait||Anshan, China|
|Yang Xu 53'
Yu Hanchao 64'
Wu Lei 90'
|Report||Hajiah 45+2'||Stadium: Anshan Sports Centre Stadium
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (Japan)
|Friendly 9 September 2014||China PR||1 – 1||Jordan||Harbin, China|
|Gao Lin 39' (pen.)||Report||Hayel 83'||Stadium: Harbin Sports City Center Stadium
Referee: Alan Milliner (Australia)
|Friendly 10 October 2014||China PR||3 – 0||Thailand||Wuhan, China|
|Sinthaweechai 61' (o.g.)
Sun Ke 83'
Yang Xu 87'
|Report||Stadium: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium
Referee: Kim Hee-gon (South Korea)
|Friendly 14 October 2014||China PR||2 – 1||Paraguay||Changsha, China|
|Zheng Zhi 9' (pen.)
Wu Lei 18'
|Report||Ortigoza 82'||Stadium: Helong Stadium
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)
|Friendly 14 November 2014||China PR||1 – 1||New Zealand||Nanchang, China|
|Zheng Zhi 42'||Report||Wood 87'||Stadium: Nanchang Bayi Stadium
Referee: Lee Min-hu (South Korea)
|Friendly 18 November 2014||China PR||0 – 0||Honduras||Xi'an, China|
|Report||Stadium: Shaanxi Province Stadium
Referee: Jumpei Iida (Japan)
|Friendly 21 December 2014||China PR||0 – 0||Palestine||Chenzhou, China|
|Stadium: Chenzhou Sports Center Stadium
Referee: Hiroyuki Kimura (Japan)
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 10 January 2015||Saudi Arabia||0 – 1||China PR||Brisbane, Australia|
|19:00 UTC+10||Report||Yu Hai 81'||Stadium: Brisbane Stadium
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 14 January 2015||China PR||2 – 1||Uzbekistan||Brisbane, Australia|
|19:00 UTC+10||Wu Xi 54'
Sun Ke 68'
|Report||Ahmedov 23'||Stadium: Brisbane Stadium
Referee: Abdullah Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates)
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 18 January 2015||China PR||2 – 1||North Korea||Canberra, Australia|
|20:00 UTC+11||Sun Ke 1', 42'||Report||Gao Lin 57' (o.g.)||Stadium: Canberra Stadium
Referee: Abdulrahman Abdou (Qatar)
|2015 AFC Asian Cup 22 January 2015||China PR||0 – 2||Australia||Brisbane, Australia|
|20:30 UTC+10||Report||Cahill 48', 65'||Stadium: Brisbane Stadium
Referee: Kim Jong-hyeok (South Korea)
|Friendly 27 March 2015||China PR||2 – 2||Haiti||Changsha, China|
|Yang Xu 58'
Yu Dabao 81'
|Stadium: Helong Stadium
Referee: Luk Kin-sun (Hong Kong)
|Friendly 31 March 2015||China PR||1 – 1||Tunisia||Nanjing, China|
|Yu Dabao 94'||Moncer 39'||Stadium: Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre
Referee: Kim Jong-hyeok (South Korea)
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 16 June 2015||Bhutan||v||China PR||TBD, Bhutan|
|2015 EAFF East Asian Cup 2 August 2015||China PR||v||South Korea||Wuhan, China|
|Stadium: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium
|2015 EAFF East Asian Cup 5 August 2015||China PR||v||North Korea||Wuhan, China|
|Stadium: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium
|2015 EAFF East Asian Cup 9 August 2015||China PR||v||Japan||Wuhan, China|
|Stadium: Wuhan Sports Center Stadium
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 3 September 2015||China PR||v||Hong Kong||TBD, China|
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 8 September 2015||Maldives||v||China PR||TBD, Maldives|
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 8 October 2015||Qatar||v||China PR||TBD, Qatar|
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 12 November 2015||China PR||v||Bhutan||TBD, China|
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 17 November 2015||Hong Kong||v||China PR||TBD, Hong Kong|
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 24 March 2016||China PR||v||Maldives||TBD, China|
|2018 FIFA World Cup Qual. 29 March 2016||China PR||v||Qatar||TBD, China|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1997||1||1||0||0||3||0||+3||UEFA|
|Papua New Guinea||1985||2||1||1||0||5||2||+3||OFC|
|Republic of Ireland||1984||2||0||0||2||0||2||-2||UEFA|
|Trinidad and Tobago||2001||1||1||0||0||3||0||+3||CONCACAF|
|United Arab Emirates||1984||11||4||5||2||16||8||+8||AFC|
FIFA World Cup record
Main article: China PR at the FIFA World Cup
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