Zheng Zhi

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zheng.
Zheng Zhi
郑智
Zheng Zhi.jpg
Personal information
Full name Zheng Zhi
Date of birth (1980-08-20) 20 August 1980 (age 35)
Place of birth Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Guangzhou Evergrande
Number 10
Youth career
1990–2000 Liaoning Youth
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Shenzhen Jianlibao 77 (14)
2005–2007 Shandong Luneng 45 (31)
2007 Charlton Athletic (loan) 12 (1)
2007–2009 Charlton Athletic 55 (8)
2009–2010 Celtic 16 (1)
2010– Guangzhou Evergrande 143 (15)
National team
2002– China 92 (15)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17 July 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17 July 2016

Zheng Zhi (simplified Chinese: 郑智; traditional Chinese: 鄭智; pinyin: Zhèng Zhì, born 20 August 1980) is a Chinese footballer who currently plays for Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League. He is also the current captain of the Chinese national team.

Starting his career as a defender, Zheng was moved into centre midfield by his manager at Shenzhen Jianlibao and experienced immediate success there by winning the 2004 league title with them. A move to Shandong Luneng saw a prolific goal scoring period in his career and he soon became the captain of the Chinese national team which then led to moves to Charlton Athletic and Celtic.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Zheng Zhi started his football career in 1990 playing for various Liaoning youth academies before playing for Liaoning Youth in 1998 where he started out playing as a defender.[1] Despite being the reserve side of Liaoning Whowin, the Liaoning Youth team were allowed to take part in the third tier where they found it difficult within the league system and the club were involved in legal trouble that saw all their assets frozen, including player transfer rights. This saw Zheng spend a year without playing professional football and he was transferred to top tier club Shenzhen Jianlibao who were coached by then manager Zhu Guanghu, his former manager during his time with the Chinese under-23 national team. While he was initially deployed as a defender at first, he successfully made the transition as a playmaker and aided Shenzhen to the 2004 league title for the first time in the club's history. After the title win, Zheng would play for the Chinese national team at the 2004 AFC Asian Cup where then manager Arie Haan deployed him as a defender once again as China finished as runners-up in the tournament.

Charlton Athletic[edit]

Zheng joined Premier League side Charlton Athletic on loan on 29 December 2006 until the end of the season with Charlton having an option to buy him. He was the first official signing of new manager Alan Pardew although he had been on trial with the club in November 2006 under previous manager Les Reed. He made his debut for the club on 10 February 2006 in a 2-0 loss against Manchester United when he was substituted on for Amdy Faye. He scored his first goal on 18 March 2007 in a 2-0 win against Newcastle United.[2]

He returned to Shandong Luneng at the end of the 2006-07 season under the terms of his loan deal. He played once more for the club in a 6-1 loss against Beijing Guoan before he returned to Charlton on a permanent deal in August 2007. He joined for a fee of £2 million and signed a two-year contract.[3] In a March 2008 edition of British football magazine FourFourTwo, Zheng was voted the fifth best player in the Football League.[4] He scored a total of seven league goals in the 2007-08 season; however, because of the number of games he played for both Charlton and China, he was less effective in the second half of the season as a result of fatigue.[5]

In the summer of 2008, Zheng was heavily linked with a transfer to West Bromwich Albion. Although Charlton were in negotiations with the club up to the end of the transfer window,[6] the transfer failed to materialise. On 8 July 2009, Zheng left Charlton after failing to agree a new contract with the London club following its relegation to League One.[7]

Celtic[edit]

On 1 September 2009, Zheng became the second Chinese footballer after Du Wei to sign for Scottish Premier League side Celtic after penning a two-year contract.[8] Then manager Tony Mowbray affirmed his long held admiration for the player and expressed his delight in the signing. [9] Zheng was unable to play in Celtic's Europa League group matches after UEFA confirmed that he was not registered in time.[10]

He made his debut on 4 October 2009 in the Old Firm derby against Rangers. He was fouled in the box to give Celtic a penalty which was scored by Aiden McGeady to make it 2-1 to Celtic. Zheng was substituted for Paddy McCourt after 70 minutes.[11] Zheng scored his first goal for the club on 8 May 2010 against Heart of Midlothian. He scored the second goal in a 2-1 victory with a quick turn and hooked shot from 18 yards out into the top corner of the goal.[12][13] On 1 July 2010, he was released by Celtic after failing to agree contract terms.[14]

Guangzhou Evergrande[edit]

On 28 June 2010, Zheng returned home and signed for China League One side Guangzhou Evergrande on a free transfer.[15][16] He made his debut for the club on 17 July 2010 in a 1-1 draw against Hubei Greenery. He scored first goal for the club 21 July 2010 in a 10-0 win against Nanjing Yoyo. In the 2010 season, Zheng scored five goals in 11 appearances as Guangzhou finished first place in the second division and won promotion back to the top tier.

After promotion to the Chinese Super League, Zheng took over as captain of the club as former captain Li Zhihai transferred to Guangdong Sunray Cave. Zheng scored five times in 25 appearances during the 2011 season as Guangzhou won the top tier league title for the first time in the club's history, giving Zheng his third league title with three different clubs. In the 2012 season, the club won the double by winning the league title and the Chinese FA Cup and in the 2013 season, won a third consecutive league title. In November 2013, Zheng captained Guangzhou to victory in the 2013 AFC Champions League Final as they became the first Chinese club ever to win the AFC Champions League. On 26 November 2013, Zheng was named the Asian Footballer of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation for his impressive performances for both club and country.[17]

International career[edit]

Zheng joined the Chinese under-23 national team as the only player from the third tier Chinese Yi League. Under then manager Bobby Houghton for the Chinese national team, he mainly played right back in many matches. After Zhu Guanghu took over as the manager, he was shifted into centre midfield and cemented his spot as the national team's first choice midfielder. Zheng captained the under-23 national team that competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[18] Under Gao Hongbo's management, Zheng became the captain of the national team.

International goals[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 17 July 2016 [19]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Others Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
China PR League FA Cup CSL Cup Asia Others Total
2000 Liaoning Youth China League Two - - - -
2001 Shenzhen Jianlibao Chinese Jia-A League 23 3 3 0 - - - 26 3
2002 22 6 2 0 - - - 24 6
2003 16 3 3 0 - - - 19 3
2004 Chinese Super League 16 2 5 4 2 1 - - 23 7
2005 Shandong Luneng Chinese Super League 18 10 4 2 4 4 6 5 - 32 21
2006 26 21 6 1 - - - 32 22
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Ohers Total
2006-07 Charlton Athletic Premier League 12 1 0 0 0 0 - - 12 1
China PR League FA Cup CSL Cup Asia Others1 Total
2007 Shandong Luneng Chinese Super League 1 0 - - - 3 2 4 2
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
2007-08 Charlton Athletic English Championship 42 7 2 1 1 1 - - 45 9
2008-09 13 1 0 0 0 0 - - 13 1
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
2009-10 Celtic Scottish Premier League 16 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 - 19 1
China PR League FA Cup CSL Cup Asia Others2 Total
2010 Guangzhou Evergrande China League One 11 5 - - - - 11 5
2011 Chinese Super League 25 5 2 0 - - - 27 5
2012 24 1 3 1 - 9 0 0 0 36 2
2013 24 2 4 0 - 14 1 4 0 46 3
2014 20 0 0 0 - 8 0 0 0 28 0
2015 22 1 0 0 - 13 1 4 0 39 2
2016 17 1 3 0 - 5 0 1 0 26 1
Total China PR 265 60 35 8 6 5 55 7 12 2 373 82
United Kingdom 83 10 4 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 89 12
Career total 348 70 39 9 8 6 55 7 12 2 462 94

1Other tournaments include A3 Champions Cup.
2Other tournaments include Chinese FA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

International statistics[edit]

National team
Year Apps Goals
2002 3 0
2003 4 0
2004 21 9
2005 3 1
2006 5 1
2007 3 0
2008 6 1
2009 4 0
2010 0 0
2011 10 1
2012 5 0
2013 11 0
2014 5 2
2015 12 0
Total 92 15

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Shenzhen Jianlibao
Shandong Luneng
Guangzhou Evergrande

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "郑智简介". sports.QQ.com. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Charlton 2–0 Newcastle". BBC. 18 March 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "Charlton snap up McLeod & Zheng". BBC Sport. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "FourFourTwo 50 Best Football League Players". FourFourTwo. 2 March 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008. 
  5. ^ "China's soccer exports face uncertain future". Sina.com English. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008. 
  6. ^ "Baggies continue Zheng talks". Sky Sports. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008. 
  7. ^ "Midfielder Zheng leaves Charlton". BBC Sport. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2009. 
  8. ^ "Celtic sign China captain Zheng Zhi". The Herald. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2009. 
  9. ^ "Zheng Zhi gets green light from SFA". Celtic F.C. 4 September 2009. Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  10. ^ Zheng to miss european campaign Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Sporting Life. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  11. ^ "Rangers 2–1 Celtic". BBC Sport. 4 October 2009. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Grahame, Ewing (9 May 2010). "Hearts 1 Celtic 2: match report". Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Lennon has no answer for Zheng". SKY Sports. 10 May 2010. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Celtic release midfielders Zhi and Mizuno". BBC Sport. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "郑智穿28号战袍 不当只有虚名的英超球员". ESPN Star Sports. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  16. ^ China seeks 'gold' from World Cup. China Daily.com. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  17. ^ AFC Player of the Year: Zheng Zhi Archived 29 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. AFC. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  18. ^ Zheng and Dong head China soccer squad for Beijing. Reuters. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  19. ^ "郑智". sodasoccer (in Chinese). 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Li Weifeng
China national football team captain
2006–2008
Succeeded by
Du Wei
Preceded by
Li Zhihai
Guangzhou Evergrande captain
2011–
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Du Wei
China national football team captain
2011
Succeeded by
Li Weifeng
Preceded by
Sun Xiang
China national football team captain
2012–2015
Succeeded by
Zhang Linpeng