Guangzhou City F.C.

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Guangzhou City
广州城
Guangzhou R&F FC logo.svg
Full nameGuangzhou City Football Club
广州城足球俱乐部
Nickname(s)The Blue Lions[1]
Founded2011; 10 years ago (2011), as Guangzhou R&F FC
GroundYuexiushan Stadium
Capacity18,000[2]
OwnerR&F Properties
ChairmanZhang Li
ManagerJean-Paul van Gastel
LeagueChinese Super League
2020CSL, 11th of 16
WebsiteClub website
Current season
Guangzhou City F.C.
Simplified Chinese广州富力
Traditional Chinese廣州富力

Guangzhou City Football Club is a Chinese professional football club that competes in the Chinese Super League under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team is based in Guangzhou, Guangdong, and their home stadium is the Yuexiushan Stadium which has a seating capacity of 18,000. They are owned by the Chinese property developers R&F Properties who took charge in June 2011. The club's English name over 2011 until 2020 was R&F which was short for "Rich" (富) and "Force" (力). The club became Guangzhou City in December 2020.

The club was founded in 1986 in Shenyang, Liaoning as Shenyang Football Team. They played at the 55,000-seat Wulihe Stadium (五里河体育场), until they moved to Changsha, Hunan in 2007 to reside in the Helong Stadium. American sportswear and sports equipment company MAZAMBA took over the club in 2010, and relocated the club to Shenzhen, Guangdong in February 2011. Their ownership was brief, and by June 2011 Chinese property developers Guangzhou R&F gained ownership of the club and moved them to Guangzhou. The club had their most successful season in 2014 as they finished third in the league and qualified for the 2015 AFC Champions League.[3]

History[edit]

History before moving to Guangzhou[edit]

The club was founded in 1986 by the local Shenyang government sports body to take part in the Chinese football league system. The club was named "Shenyang" (沈阳). The team started at the bottom of the league system by playing in the second division. They were promoted to the 1988 Chinese Jia-A League quickly after the league expanded and Liaoning FC was ineligible to field their reserve team in the same division. The club was relegated after only one season.[4] With the following campaigns the club mostly remained within the second tier, except for a short foray in the 1992 Chinese Jia-A League campaign; however, again they were relegated after only one season.

By the 1994 league season the entire Chinese football league system had become professional. The team were allowed to gather sponsorship and rename themselves Shenyang Liuyao (沈阳东北六药), and were allowed to join the top tier due to their 1992 membership.[5] When the team were relegated again at the end of the season they rename themselves Shenyang Huayang (沈阳华阳) and then Shenyang Sealion (沈阳海狮) in 1996. Again the club won promotion to the top tier; however, unlike before they were able to avoid relegation. This was to be the beginning of the club's establishment within the league, though the team benefitted from several seasons where there was no relegation while the league expanded. In 2001 the club was taken over by Ginde Plastic Pipe Industry Group, a subsidiary of the Hongyuan Group and changed its name to Shenyang Ginde (沈阳金德). In 2007 the club's homeground Wulihe Stadium (五里河体育场) was demolished. While it was expected that the club move to another stadium within Shenyang, especially the Shenyang Olympic Sports Center Stadium, a deal did not go through and the club moved to Changsha in Hunan and changed their name to Changsha Ginde (长沙金德).

After Changsha Ginde were relegated to League One at the end of the 2010 league season, the club was purchased by MAZAMBA and moved into the Shenzhen Stadium in the city of Shenzhen, Guangdong in February 2011. To represent this change the owners changed the club's name to Shenzhen Phoenix and changed the home kit from sky blue to green.[6] By May 2011 the club was exposed as having serious financial problems and were struggling to pay their players and their hotel accommodation.[7]

History in Guangzhou[edit]

In serious doubt of completing the 2011 season, Shenzhen Phoenix was put up for sale. The club was bought by Chinese property developers Guangzhou R&F who moved the club to the Yuexiushan Stadium in Guangzhou and changed the club's colours back to blue.[8] Under the new ownership results significantly improved and the club gained promotion back into the top tier at the end of the 2011 China League One season. The team finished the league in seventh, and the club's owners decided to commit their long-term future to the club by establishing a football school in Meizhou.[9] The start of the 2013 Chinese Super League season, however, the club struggled in the league and the manager Sérgio Farias was fired. Former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson was appointed to replace him on June 4, 2013, and given a 19-month contract.[10] Eriksson's first full season would see the club finish third, its highest league finish, and qualify for the Asian Champions League for the first time. Moroccan striker Abderazzak Hamdallah was a key player for the team, scoring 22 times in 22 appearances. However, manager Eriksson left at the end of his contract and moved to Shanghai SIPG who had finished fifth that year.[3]

On January 2, 2015, the club announced that Cosmin Contra would be their new manager.[11] Contra coached the club in their maiden appearance in the Asian Champions League, coming through the preliminary stages against Warriors FC and Central Coast Mariners to earn a place in the group stage.[12] However, despite an away victory over Gamba Osaka, Guangzhou R&F were eliminated at the group stage.[13] The club's league form was also poor and Contra was sacked on July 22. Li Bing was installed as caretaker manager.[14] There were more changes as Korean defensive midfielder Park Jong-woo and the injured and unsettled Hamdallah also left the club mid-season. Hamdallah only scored three goals in 2015, making him the club's all-time leading foreign scorer at the time with 25, one ahead of Yakubu. The disruption continued as R&F were forced to play some of their home matches at Guangzhou's University City Stadium whilst Yuexiushan was being refurbished, just as in 2012.[15]

The Dragan Stojkovic era[edit]

Guangzhou R&F announced Dragan Stojković as their new manager on 24 August and handed the former Yugoslav international a contract to the end of the 2017 season.[16] Stojkovic preserved R&F's top flight status as they finished 14th out of 16 teams in 2015.

In July 2016, R&F signed Israeli international Eran Zahavi from Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. Whilst home stadium Yuexiushan was being refurbished, R&F played their opening home games in 2017 at the Guangdong Provincial People's Stadium.[17] Stojkovic's attacking style of play and Zahavi's goals led R&F to finish fifth in the CSL in 2017. There was double disappointment on the final day of the season however as the club fell just short of qualifying for the ACL and Zahavi missed out on breaking the single season CSL scoring record by just one goal. However, his 27 goals earned him the 2017 golden boot.[18] Guangzhou R&F reached the semi-finals of the CFA Cup in 2018 but had a disappointing CSL campaign as they finished 10th.[19]

Guangzhou R&F finished 12th in the CSL in 2019. In attack, Zahavi's 29 goals set a new single season scoring record[20] but the team had the worst defensive record in the league, conceding 72 goals in 30 games.[21] After spending over four seasons at the club - making him Guangzhou R&F's longest ever serving manager - Stojkovic left the club in January 2020.[22]

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was announced as Guangzhou R&F's new manager on 4 January 2020.[23] The CSL's format was disrupted because of COVID-19 but van Bronckhorst led the team to an 11th-place finish.[24] After a CFA Cup quarter final loss on penalties, the club announced on 3 December 2020 that van Bronckhorst had resigned as manager for personal reasons.[25]

In accordance with new national rules on the removal of sponsors from club names, on 18 December 2020 the club changed its name to Guangzhou City (广州城足球俱乐部).[26]

Name history[edit]

  • 1986–1993: Shenyang (沈阳)
  • 1994: Shenyang Liuyao (沈阳东北六药)[5]
  • 1995: Shenyang Huayang (沈阳华阳)
  • 1996–2001: Shenyang Sealion (沈阳海狮)
  • 2001–2006: Shenyang Ginde (沈阳金德)
  • 2007–2010: Changsha Ginde (长沙金德)
  • 2011:Shenzhen Phoenix (深圳凤凰)[6]
  • 2011–2020:Guangzhou R&F (广州富力)[8]
  • 2020–:Guangzhou City (广州城)

Rivalries[edit]

The club took part in the Liaoning Derby, which was a regional fixture contested against Dalian Football Club and Liaoning FC while the club was located in Shenyang.[27] The tie against Liaoning FC was the more intimate affair because the clubs shared the Shenyang People's Stadium in the 1994 league season compared to the Dalian fixture, which historically saw few meaningful clashes. At the end of the 2006 league season the club left this derby when they moved out of Shenyang.

When the club moved to Guangzhou they soon formed a rivalry with Guangzhou Evergrande, which is often referred to as the Canton derby.[28] The first derby was played at Yuexiushan Stadium in a league match on March 16, 2012 and Guangzhou R&F won 2–0 at home against the reigning league champions.[29] The venue was significant because it had been Guangzhou Evergrande's home ground. However, the two club owners, Zhang Li and Xu Jiayin, did not view the derby with hostility and on the return fixture, which R&F won 1–0. They were seen enjoying a meal together instead of watching the game.[30][31]

Current squad[edit]

First team[edit]

As of 31 July 2021[32]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK China CHN Cheng Yuelei
4 MF China CHN Zhang Gong
5 DF China CHN Hu Ruibao
6 MF China CHN Fan Yunlong
7 FW Colombia COL Jown Cardona
8 MF Belgium BEL Mousa Dembélé
9 FW Brazil BRA Tiago Leonço
10 MF China CHN Li Tixiang
11 FW China CHN Ye Chugui
12 MF Brazil BRA Guilherme
14 FW China CHN Zeng Chao
15 DF China CHN Han Pengfei (on loan from Wuhan)
16 MF Hong Kong HKG Tan Chun Lok
18 DF China CHN Yi Teng (captain)
19 DF China CHN Jiang Jihong
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF China CHN Tang Miao
21 FW China CHN Chang Feiya
22 GK China CHN Han Jiaqi
23 GK China CHN Zhou Yuchen
25 DF China CHN Jin Liangkuan
26 GK China CHN Long Wenhao
27 DF China CHN Yang Xiaotian
29 FW China CHN Song Wenjie
31 DF China CHN Zhang Jinliang
32 MF China CHN Chen Zhizhao
35 DF China CHN Wang Huapeng
36 DF China CHN Huang Zhengyu
37 MF China CHN Wen Yongjun
39 MF China CHN Su Yuliang

Reserve team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
40 GK China CHN Chen Siwei
42 MF China CHN Li Ming
44 MF China CHN Zhang Chaoqun
45 DF China CHN Liu Jiale
47 DF China CHN Hu Diji
48 FW China CHN Mai Jiajian
50 MF China CHN Xu Zhengwei
51 MF China CHN Chen Yajun
No. Pos. Nation Player
52 DF China CHN Wang Xin
54 FW China CHN Fang Jinzhao
55 DF China CHN Zhang Fushun
58 FW China CHN Huang Zihao
59 MF China CHN He Zilin
61 MF China CHN Chen Fuhai
63 MF China CHN Zhang Jiajie
65 GK China CHN Liang Hua

Unregistered Players[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF China CHN Liang Yongfeng
DF China CHN Fu Yunlong
MF China CHN Hou Junjie
MF China CHN Deng Yanlin
FW China CHN Huang Jingbin
DF China CHN Chen Weiming
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF China CHN Cai Haojian
MF China CHN Li Yuyang
MF China CHN Zhao Keda
DF China CHN Deng Zhiyao
GK China CHN Ji Xiangzheng
GK China CHN Chen Zirong
- DF China CHN Zheng Zhiming

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
- DF China CHN Zou Zheng (at Qingdao until 31 December 2021)
- FW China CHN Gui Hong (at Meizhou Hakka until 31 December 2021)
- DF China CHN Fu Yuncheng (at Sichuan Minzu until 31 December 2021)
No. Pos. Nation Player
- FW China CHN Jin Bo (at Zibo Cuju until 31 December 2021)
28 MF China CHN Wu Chengru (at Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard until 31 December 2021)
30 MF China CHN Wang Peng (at Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard until 31 December 2021)

Club officials[edit]

Senior staff[edit]

Position Staff
Chairman China Zhang Li (张力)
Vice chairman China Huang Shenghua (黄盛华)
general manager China Zhang Bin (章彬)
Vice general manager China Guo Nengpei (郭能培)

Source:[citation needed]

Coaching and medical staff[edit]

First team[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Netherlands Jean-Paul van Gastel
Assistant coaches Netherlands Joop Gall
Fitness coaches Japan Katsuhito Kinoshi
Israel Eran Shado
Goalkeeper coach China Huang Hongtao
Team leader China Huang Jun
Team physicians Netherlands Marco van der Steen
China Mai Zhiyuan
China Fan Bihua
Technical analyst China Chen Jiachao
Interpreters China Hong Wenjie
China Weng Zhanhong

Source: Guangzhou R&F F.C.

Reserve team[edit]

Position Staff
Head coach Serbia Darko Buser
Assistant coaches Serbia Slobodan Marović
Serbia Marko Perović
Goalkeeping coaches Scotland Andy McNeil
China Jing Yongjian
Fitness coach Brazil Luís Inarra Bruno
Team leader China Zhong Weibo
Team physician Netherlands Raldy van Haastert
China Deng Yanming

Source: Guangzhou R&F F.C.

Academy[edit]

Position Staff
Academy director Japan Shiro Kikuhara
Academy coach Japan Mitsunori Yabuta
Japan Tsuyoshi Yoshitake
Japan Yuki Fujimoto
Japan Ryu Hirose
Japan Daichi Suzuki
Japan Hiroshi Yoshida

Source: Guangzhou R&F F.C.

Managerial history[edit]

As of 7 December 2020.[33][34]

Honours[edit]

League[edit]

Runners-up (2): 1991, 2011

Professional club records[edit]

For Guangzhou R&F in league football as of the end of the 2018 season

Team records[edit]

  • Record home victory: 6–2 v Hangzhou Greentown (2014), 6–2 v Yanbian Funde (2017)[36]
  • Record away victory: 5–1 v Liaoning Whowin FC (2014)
  • Record home defeat: 2–6 v Tianjin Quanjian (2018)
  • Record away defeat: 0–6 v Beijing Guoan (2013)
  • Most cleansheets: 9 (2014)
  • Fewest cleansheets: 5 (2012, 2017, 2018)

Player records[edit]

Results[edit]

All-time League rankings[edit]

As of the end of 2018 season.[41][42]

Year Div Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Pos. FA Cup Super Cup League Cup AFC Att./G Stadium
1986 2 7 4 1 DNQ  –  –
1987 3 7 3 1 2 NH  –  –
1988 1 20 4 7 9 17 17 0 19 17 NH  –  –
1989 2 22 5 12 5 20 18 1 27 9 NH  –  –
1990 2 22 6 10 6 19 16 3 28 7 DNQ  –  –
1991 2 18 8 7 3 23 18 5 19 1 RU QF  –  –
1992 1 14 1 1 12 8 36 −28 3 8 3 R1  –  –
1993 2 5 1 0/1 3 5 9 −4 2 5 1 NH  –  –
1994 1 22 1 9 12 16 39 −23 11 11 NH  –  – 5,591 Shenyang People's Stadium
1995 2 22 6 8 8 22 28 −6 26 8 R1 DNQ  – Shenyang People's Stadium
1996 2 22 6 8 8 24 23 1 26 7 R1 DNQ  – Shenyang People's Stadium
1997 2 22 9 8 5 37 28 9 35 3 R1 DNQ  – Shenyang People's Stadium
1998 1 26 7 10 9 19 28 −9 31 10 R2 DNQ  – 15,077 Shenyang People's Stadium
1999 1 26 5 13 8 28 32 −4 28 11 R1 DNQ  – 11,923 Shenyang People's Stadium
2000 1 26 8 10 8 35 32 3 34 7 QF DNQ  – 35,615 Wulihe Stadium
2001 1 26 2 1 23 23 69 −46 7 14 4 R2 DNQ  – 12,000 Wulihe Stadium
2002 1 28 8 10 10 34 34 0 34 11 R1 DNQ  – 14,500 Wulihe Stadium
2003 1 28 11 10 7 35 31 4 43 5 SF DNQ  – 18,857 Wulihe Stadium
2004 1 22 7 5 10 23 29 −6 26 8 R4 NH R1 5,000 Wulihe Stadium
2005 1 26 4 7 15 19 43 −24 19 13 4 R1 NH R1 2,077 Wulihe Stadium
2006 1 28 6 8 14 22 43 −21 26 13 R2 NH NH 2,750 Wulihe Stadium
2007 1 28 8 10 10 17 24 −7 34 10 NH NH NH 10,571 Helong Stadium
2008 1 30 7 13 10 28 36 −8 34 11 NH NH NH 6,645 Helong Stadium
2009 1 30 6 15 9 23 31 −8 33 14 NH NH NH 8,498 Helong Stadium
2010 1 30 6 12 12 24 42 −18 30 16 NH NH NH 10,152 Helong Stadium
2011 2 26 13 8 5 36 27 9 47 RU R2 NH NH Dongguan Nancheng Stadium
Yuexiushan Stadium
2012 1 30 13 3 14 47 49 −2 42 7 R4 DNQ NH 8,460 Yuexiushan Stadium
Guangzhou HEMC Central Stadium
2013 1 30 11 7 12 45 47 −2 40 6 R4 DNQ NH 10,384 Yuexiushan Stadium
2014 1 30 17 6 7 67 39 28 57 3 R4 DNQ NH 11,487 Yuexiushan Stadium
2015 1 30 8 7 15 35 41 −6 31 14 R4 DNQ NH Group 7,989 Yuexiushan Stadium
Guangzhou HEMC Central Stadium
2016 1 30 11 7 12 47 50 −3 40 6 SF DNQ NH 9,831 Yuexiushan Stadium
2017 1 30 15 7 8 59 46 13 52 5 QF DNQ NH 9,904 Yuexiushan Stadium
Guangdong Provincial People's Stadium
2018 1 30 10 6 14 49 61 −12 36 10 SF DNQ NH 10,321 Yuexiushan Stadium
2019 1 30 9 5 16 54 72 -18 32 12 R4 DNQ NH Yuexiushan Stadium
  • ^1 in group stage
  • ^2 Liaoning B team promoted to 1 level, but according to CFA rules a club could only enter 1 team in top level so that Senyang replaced Liaoning B's place in 1 level
  • ^3 Joins 1994 Jia-A League as 1992 member
  • ^4 no relegation

Key

International results[edit]

Guangzhou R&F played in the Asian Champions League in 2015. They beat Singaporean side Warriors FC and Australian team Central Coast Mariners in the qualifying rounds but were knocked-out in the group stage.

R&F (Hong Kong)[edit]

In August 2016 it was announced that R&F had entered a satellite team into the Hong Kong Premier League. Players registered for the Chinese Super League are ineligible to play in the Hong Kong Premier League, and vice versa.[43] R&F (Hong Kong) played their home matches at the Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground during the first season. The following year, they were permitted to play their home matches at Yanzigang Stadium in Guangzhou under the condition that all away teams' travelling expenses would be covered by R&F.[44]

Past and present internationals[edit]

This list contains the present and former international football players playing for Guangzhou R&F.[45]

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External links[edit]