|Full name||Wu Lei|
|Date of birth||19 November 1991|
|Place of birth||Nanjing, Jiangsu, China|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2003–2005||Genbao Football Academy|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:39, 16 February 2020 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 January 2020
Wu is the all-time top goalscorer for Shanghai SIPG with 169 goals. He is the second all-time top goalscorer in Chinese Super League history with 102 goals. Wu also holds the record for being the youngest player to have appeared in a Chinese professional league match aged 14 years and 287 days.
Wu Lei was born in Nanjing and developed a passion for football at an early age. Turned down by Jiangsu Sainty's youth academy for being too small, Wu took a recommendation letter from former Chinese footballer Li Hongbing and went to Shanghai to apply for the Genbao Football Base in 2003. After watching a single training session of Wu, Xu Genbao, the founder and owner of Genbao Football Base, decided to recruit Wu. Later in 2005, Wu and his teammates joined Shanghai East Asia, which was jointly founded by Xu Genbao.
Wu Lei started his football career playing for third-tier side Shanghai SIPG, making his debut for the club on 2 September 2006 in a 5–3 loss against Yunnan Lijiang Dongba, making him the youngest ever player to play professional Chinese football aged 14 years and 287 days. He helped the club win the third tier title and promotion to the second tier at the end of the 2007 league season. He scored his first goal for the club on 30 August 2008 in a 2–0 win against Qingdao Hailifeng. This made him the second youngest goalscorer in Chinese football aged 16 years and 289 days, just 47 days behind Cao Yunding's record.
Wu scored a hat trick on 2 June 2013 in a 6–1 win against Shanghai Shenxin, becoming the second youngest player to score a hat-trick in the top tier. He scored his second hat-trick of the season on 18 August 2013 in a 3–2 win against Tianjin Teda. He scored his third hat trick of the season on 27 September 2013 in a 6–1 win against Qingdao Jonoon. On 31 July 2016, Wu became the first Chinese footballer in over two years to score a hat-trick in the Chinese Super League in a 3–3 draw against Guangzhou R&F. On 18 March 2018, he scored four goals in a 5–2 win against Guangzhou R&F, becoming the second Chinese footballer to score four goals in a league match after Li Jinyu. In the 2018 season, Wu became the top goalscorer in Chinese Super League history with 102 goals. He also won the Golden Boot award with 27 goals, becoming the first Chinese footballer to win the award since Li Jinyu. Wu was also named as the Chinese Football Association Footballer of the Year at the end of the season, becoming the Chinese footballer to win the award since 2007.
On 28 January 2019, Wu transferred to La Liga side RCD Espanyol for a reported fee of €2 million, signing a three-year contract with an option for an additional year. He made his debut for the club on 3 February 2019 in a 2–2 draw against Villarreal, coming on as a substitute for Dídac Vilà in the 77th minute. He became the second Chinese footballer to play in La Liga after Zhang Chengdong. On 9 February 2019, he came on as a substitute and earned a penalty which produced the equalizer in a 2–1 win against Rayo Vallecano. On 17 February 2019, Wu became the first Chinese footballer to start a La Liga match in a 0–0 draw against Valencia CF. Wu scored his first goal for the club on 2 March 2019 in a 3–1 win against Real Valladolid, becoming the first Chinese footballer to score in La Liga. On 24 April 2019, Wu scored his second goal for the club in a 1–1 draw against Celta. On 18 May 2019, Wu scored his third goal for the club in a 2–0 win against Real Sociedad, securing Espanyol's spot in the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League qualifying stages.
On 25 July 2019, Wu Lei made his UEFA Europa League debut in the qualifying rounds in a 4–0 win against Stjarnan, coming on as a substitute for Esteban Granero. A month later, he scored his first goal in the same competition in a 3–0 win against Luzern. His goal, a header in the third minute, was the fastest in the club's European history and was also the first goal scored by a Chinese footballer in any European continental competition since 2013. On 3 October 2019, Wu became the first Chinese footballer ever to score in European competition, excluding qualifying stages, scoring in a 2–0 win against PFC CSKA Moscow. On 4 January 2020, Wu Lei became the first Chinese player to score against Barcelona, scoring an 88th-minute equaliser for Espanyol after coming on as a substitute in a 2–2 draw.
Wu was called up to the Chinese under-20 national team in 2009 and scored nine goals in five matches during the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship qualification matches. His impressive goalscoring performances saw him called up to the Chinese national team for the 2010 East Asian Football Championship, making his debut on 14 February 2010 in a 2–0 win against Hong Kong.
Several months later, Wu returned to the under-20 national team for the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship and he played in four games and score two goals while he aided China to the quarterfinals by the end of the tournament. He scored his first goal for China on 28 July 2013 in a 4–3 win against Australia at the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup.
Style of play
Wu has been praised for his goalscoring exploits and off-the-ball movements. He is known for his explosive speed, especially on counterattacks. A versatile forward, Wu is capable of playing anywhere across the frontline. Although he has played as a striker and second striker, he often plays as a winger and can operate on either flank.
Wu's goalscoring prowess drew praise from former manager Gao Hongbo, who stated, "Wu's scoring ability is innate, making him a gifted player." In 2013, former mentor Xu Genbao, who has been attributed to helping develop Wu, described him as "China's Maradona". Wu's performances during the 2013 Copa del Sol caught the eye of Molde FK's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Solskjær commented on Wu's footballing prowess, stating, "He is a good striker; if he moves to Molde, I think he can improve well enough to play for an English Premiership side in a year."
Wu's transfer from Shanghai SIPG to La Liga side Espanyol on 28 January 2019 drew widespread attention amongst Chinese media outlets. According to PPTV, the official broadcaster of La Liga in China, more than 25 million fans in China watched Espanyol win 3–1 against Real Valladolid, in which Wu scored his first goal for the club.
Fans like making idioms with Wu Lei's surname：Wu（武），as the word "wu" in Chinese is widely used among idioms. Wu li hui tian(武力回天）,Wu du bu qin(武毒不侵,fans use the word to wish Wulei can get well soon from Covid-19）Cite error: A
<ref> tag is missing the closing
</ref> (see the help page).
He married his girlfriend Zhong Jiabei in 2014 and has two children, a daughter and a son.
|Shanghai SIPG||2006||China League Two||–||–||–|
|2008||China League One||24||4||–||–||–||24||4|
|2013||Chinese Super League||27||15||0||0||–||–||27||15|
- Chinese Football Association Footballer of the Year: 2018
- Chinese Super League Golden Boot winner: 2018
- Chinese Super League Domestic Golden Boot winner: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Chinese Super League Team of the Year: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Chinese Footballer of the Year: 2018, 2019
- "FIFA Tournaments - Players & Coaches - WU Lei". FIFA.com.
- "Wu Lei". Soccerway. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
- "武磊天天看巴萨录像玩实况用曼联 恒大报价超张琳芃". Sina Sports. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- 淳, 晧羽 (3 January 2013). "武磊：进江苏球不庆祝 3000万始作俑者不是我". Tencent Sports. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- 上海东亚足球俱乐部介绍 Archived 2012-06-27 at the Wayback Machine at eafc.online.sh.cn 02-12-2010 Retrieved 14-06-2012 (in Chinese)
- 乙级也有上海德比：武磊上场创纪录 东亚遗憾负东巴 at sports.sina.com.cn 3 September 2006 Retrieved 8 September 2012
- 东亚小将刷新联赛纪录 中国马拉多纳前途无量 at sports.qq.com 2 September 2008 Retrieved 8 September 2012
- 上海德比爆大冷 武磊成中超最年轻帽子戏法球员 at sports.163.com 3 June 2013 Retrieved 4 June 2013
- "Wu's hat-trick salvages point for SIPG". Shanghai Daily. 31 July 2016.
- 杜震宇戴帽泰达3–0获首胜 毅腾遭四连败. sohu (in Chinese). 30 March 2014.
- 收获“大四喜” 我们正在见证一个最好的武磊. Eastday.com (in Chinese). 19 March 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
- 本土荣耀!武磊已经追平身前1尊神 打破外援射手垄断. sina (in Chinese). 4 November 2018.
- 武磊超越李金羽成本土最强前锋 距埃神纪录仅差1球. ifeng.com (in Chinese). 7 November 2018.
- 荣耀!武磊结束中超先生外援10年垄断 表态愿出国踢球但必须打主力. sohu (in Chinese). 21 November 2018.
- 官方证实武磊转会费为200万欧 最新身价350万欧 at sina.com 1 February 2019 Retrieved 1 February 2019
- Wu Lei, new player of RCD Espanyol at rcdespanyol.com 28 January 2019 Retrieved 28 January 2019
- Piferrer, Dídac (17 February 2019). "Wu Lei becomes first Chinese player to start LaLiga Santander game". MARCA. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Wu Lei becomes first Chinese player to score in Spanish league". South China Morning Post. Associated Press. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
- West, Andy (29 March 2019). "Wu Lei: How Espanyol forward is helping La Liga's attempt to overtake Premier League". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
- Zhicheng, Hu (25 April 2019). "China's Wu Lei breaks goal duck as Espanyol extend unbeaten run". CGTN. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
- "Espanyol extend European party". Marca. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "China star Wu Lei nets Espanyol's fastest goal in Europe". South China Morning Post. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "Wu-hoo! Espanyol's Lei becomes 1st Chinese player to score in European competition". RT International. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
- "China star Wu Lei's Barcelona goal makes history and gives Espanyol vital La Liga point". South China Morning Post. 5 January 2020.
- Zhicheng, Hu (21 March 2020). "Chinese striker Wu Lei reportedly among Espanyol players to test positive for COVID-19". CGTN.
- 亚足联盛赞国青惊艳表现 称宿家军表现能得满分 at news.xinmin.cn 12 November 2009 Retrieved 8 September 2012
- Score Sheet(PDF) – EAFF : EAST ASIAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION at eaff.com 14 February 2010 Retrieved 8 September 2012
- "连媒：武磊为冠军可转会恒大 很难超越郝海东". ifeng news. 18 November 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
- "高洪波：满意上半程球队表现 武磊能力属天赋异禀". ycwb. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "武磊玩实况最爱用曼联 恒大超高价也带不走他". Tencent Sports. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "Wu Lei, China's maestro in the making". FIFA.com. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
- "Wu's first Liga goal breaks Chinese viewing record". ESPN.com. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "徐根宝：球员早点结婚是好事 老婆管得住有助提高". Sina Sports. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- "赢球当晚武磊喜获爱子 儿女双全堪称人生大赢家". Sohu Sports. 22 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
- 武磊 at sodasoccer.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015 (in Chinese)
- "Wu, Lei". sodasoccer.com. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
- Wu Lei at National-Football-Teams.com
- "中甲积分榜:上海夺冠卓尔获亚军 东进八喜降级". sports.sina.com.cn. 28 October 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2019.