China national football team

The China national football team (simplified Chinese: 中国国家足球队; traditional Chinese: 中國國家足球隊; pinyin: Zhōngguó guójiā zúqiú duì, recognised as China PR by FIFA) represents the People's Republic of China in international association football and is governed by the Chinese Football Association.

China
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)龙之队 (Dragon's Team)
AssociationChinese Football Association (CFA)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationEAFF (East Asia)
Head coachVacant
CaptainWu Xi
Most capsLi Weifeng (112)
Top scorerHao Haidong (39)
Home stadiumVarious
FIFA codeCHN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 88 Decrease 9 (15 February 2024)[1]
Highest37 (December 1998)
Lowest109 (March 2013)
First international
As Republic of China (1912–1949)
 Philippines 2–1 China 
(Manila, Philippines; 1 February 1913)
As People's Republic of China (1949–present)
 Finland 4–0 China 
(Helsinki, Finland; 4 August 1952)
Biggest win
 China 19–0 Guam 
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 26 January 2000)
Biggest defeat
 Brazil 8–0 China 
(Recife, Brazil; 10 September 2012)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2002)
Best resultGroup stage (2002)
Asian Cup
Appearances12 (first in 1976)
Best resultRunners-up (1984, 2004)
EAFF Championship
Appearances9 (first in 2003)
Best resultChampions (2005, 2010)
China Cup
Appearances3 (first in 2017)
Best resultThird place (2017)

China won the EAFF East Asian Cup in 2005 and 2010, was runner-up at the AFC Asian Cup in 1984 and 2004 and made its sole FIFA World Cup appearance in 2002, losing all matches without scoring a goal.

History edit

History (1913–1949) edit

 
Chinese Olympic football team in 1936

China's first-ever international representative match was arranged by Elwood Brown, president of the Philippine Athletic Association, who proposed the creation of the Far Eastern Championship Games, a multi-sport event considered to be a precursor to the Asian Games.[3] He invited China to participate in the inaugural 1913 Far Eastern Championship Games held in the Philippines, which included association football within the schedule. To represent them, it was decided that the winner of the football at the Chinese National Games in 1910 should have the honour to represent the country, where it was won by South China Football Club.[4] The club's founder and coach Mok Hing (Chinese: 莫慶) would become China's first coach and on 4 February 1913 in a one-off tournament game held in the Manila he led China to a 2–1 defeat against the Philippines national football team.[5]

The political unrest of the Xinhai Revolution that mired China's participation in the first tournament, especially in renaming the team as Republic of China national football team, did not stop Shanghai being awarded the 1915 Far Eastern Championship Games. Once again South China Football Club, now known as South China Athletic Association won the right to represent the nation. This time in a two legged play-off against the Philippines, China won the first game 1–0 and then drew the second 0–0 to win their first ever tournament.[6] With the games being the first and only regional football tournament for national teams outside Britain, China looked to establish themselves as a regional powerhouse by winning a total of nine championships.[7]

The Chinese Football Association was founded in 1924 and then was first affiliated with FIFA in 1931.[8] With these foundations in place China looked to establish themselves within the international arena and along with Japan were the first Asian sides to participate in the Football at the Summer Olympics when they competed within the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Germany. At the tournament China were knocked out within their first game at the round of 16 when they were beaten by Great Britain Olympic football team 2–0 on 6 August 1936.[9]

On 7 July 1937 the Second Sino-Japanese War officially erupted, which saw the relations between China and Japan completely eroded especially once it was announced that Japan would hold the 1938 Far Eastern Championship Games.[10] The tournament would be officially cancelled while Japan held their own tournament called the 2600th Anniversary of the Japanese Empire, which included the Japanese puppet states Manchukuo and the collaborationist National Reorganised Government of China based in occupied Nanjing. But none of the top Chinese players competed in the Japanese Empire anniversary games.[11] None of the games during the Second Sino-Japanese War are officially recognized and once the war ended on 9 September 1945 China looked to the Olympics once again for international recognition. On 2 August 1948 China competed in the Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics where they were once again knocked out in the last sixteen, this time by Turkey national football team in a 4–0 defeat.[12] When the players returned they found the country in the midst of the Chinese Civil War. When it ended, the team had been split into two, one called the People's Republic of China national football team and the other called Republic of China national football team (later renamed Chinese Taipei national football team).[13]

Early People's Republic (1950–1976) edit

The newly instated People's Republic of China reformed CFA before having FIFA acknowledge their 1931 membership on 14 June 1952.[14] Finland, who were one of the first nations to hold diplomatic relations with China's new government, invited the country to take part in the 1952 Summer Olympics. Li Fenglou would become the country's first permanent manager to lead them in the tournament, however the Chinese delegation was delayed and they missed the entire competition, nevertheless the Finland national football team would still greet Li and the Chinese team with a friendly game on 4 August 1952 making it People's Republic of China's official first game, which ended in a 4–0 defeat.[15][16] In preparation for entering their first FIFA competition, China sent a young squad to train in Hungary in 1954.[17] However, when they entered the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification process China were knocked out by Indonesia.[18]

On 7 June 1958, China stopped participating within any FIFA recognised football events when FIFA officially started to recognise the Republic of China as a different country.[14] This sparked a diplomatic argument that had already seen China withdraw from the 1956 Summer Olympics for the same reasons.[19] For years the People's Republic of China would only play in friendlies with nations who recognized them as the sole heir to the China name.[18] On 25 October 1971 the United Nations would recognise the People's Republic country as the sole heir to the China name in their General Assembly Resolution 2758 act.[20][21][22] Due to this hearing in 1973, the Nationalist Chinese team, which had been using the name "Republic of China", would stop using that name and would eventually rename themselves as "Chinese Taipei" in 1980.[23] These acts would see China rejoin the international sporting community, first by becoming a member of the Asian Football Confederation in 1974 and by rejoining FIFA again in 1979.[24][25]

Asian underdogs (1980–2009) edit

The 1974 Asian Games reintroduced the team back into international football while the 1976 AFC Asian Cup saw them came third.[26]

 
Chinese players in a match against Saudi Arabia at the 1984 AFC Asian Cup

In 1980, China participated in the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for a berth in the 1982 World Cup, but they lost a play-off game against New Zealand.[27] During the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 1986 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 inside and outside the stadium in Beijing.[28] During the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, China again reached the final round. They just missed out on qualifying as they conceded two goals in the final three minutes against Qatar in their final group match.[29] During the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – when they were led by their first ever foreign manager, Klaus Schlapner – China failed to reach the final round of qualifying, coming second behind Iraq.[30]

In 1987, the first Chinese footballers moved abroad when future national team player Xie Yuxin joined FC Zwolle (Netherlands) and ex-national teamer Gu Guangming joined SV Darmstadt 98 (Germany). In 1988, national team captain Jia Xiuquan and striker Liu Haiguang both joined FK Partizan (Yugoslavia).[31][32]

After failing to reach the 1998 FIFA World Cup, China appointed Serbian manager Bora Milutinović as coach of the national team, and China saw its fortune increased. The country managed to take fourth-place finish in the 2000 AFC Asian Cup where the Chinese side performed well, and only fell to heavyweights Japan and South Korea by one goal margin.[33] The good performance in Lebanon boosted the confidence of Chinese side, and in 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, China lost only one and drew only one, winning all the remaining games, most notably an important 1–0 win over Oman, to finally reach the 2002 FIFA World Cup, its first and only World Cup up to date.[34] In the 2002 World Cup, China was eliminated after three matches without gaining a single point nor even scoring a goal during their participation in the tournament.[35]

China hosted the 2004 AFC Asian Cup, ultimately fell 1–3 to Japan in a final match. The match's outcome sparked anger among Chinese supporters, who rioted in response to bad refereeing.[36] There were an estimated 250 million viewers for the match, the largest single-event sports audience in the country's history at that time.[37]

After winning the 2005 East Asian Football Championship following a 2–0 win against North Korea,[38] they started qualification for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. During this time, 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 unexpected,[39] 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.[40][41]

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 criticism online which condemned the team's members and even the association. Zhu was later replaced as manager by Vladimir Petrović after these performances.[42] Some commented that China's reliance on foreign managers for the past decade had been an indicator of its poor domestic manager development.[43]

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.

Stagnation (2010–present) edit

In April 2009, China appointed 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."[44] Gao was knocked out of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup's group stage. His winning percentage (65%), the highest for a Chinese manager since Nian Weisi (67.86%), did not defer the Chinese Football Association from replacing him with José Antonio Camacho in August 2011, less than a month before the qualification process for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Appointment of José Antonio Camacho edit

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.[45] Wei Di, CFA chief, 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 their 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. The citizens expects heavily for China to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held 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."[46]

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."[46]

Camacho managed the team to an 8–0 lost against Brazil in a friendly match on 10 September 2012 which would go on record as China's biggest ever international defeat. This massive loss also succumbed China to their worst ever FIFA ranking (109th).[47]

Camacho then led China during their qualification process for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup whereby losing the first group match 2–1 to Saudi Arabia.[48] After a 5–1 lost against Thailand in a friendly match, Camacho was sacked a week later and with Fu Bo assigned as the caretaker. In light of continued struggles, in 2015, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping expressed the goal of having China's men's national team be the top team in Asia by 2030 and the following year China revealed its ambitious blueprint to be the best in the world by 2050.[49]

Alain Perrin and Gao Hongbo returns edit

 
The Chinese national team in Tehran before a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Iran

After Camacho, there was Alain Perrin, who finally led China to qualify for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, which also included luck from the Thailand–Lebanon encounter, in which Thailand lost but salvaged an important goal by Adisak Kraisorn to help improve China's goal difference with the Lebanese.[50] Soon after that, Perrin led China into a series of friendlies, where some positive results against Macedonia, Kuwait, Paraguay and Thailand boosted some optimism.

In the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Perrin's China was placed in a group with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and North Korea. China emerged victoriously in all three games, qualified for the knockout stage for the first time since the 2004 edition.[51][52] The Chinese Dragons then lost to host Australia 0–2 with Tim Cahill scoring a brace.[53]

Despite this, China's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers immediately represented a huge problem for the Chinese side; they were held goalless by Hong Kong at home twice, and lost to Qatar. Perrin was sacked for the team's poor performance at the middle of the second round following another goalless draw to Hong Kong,[54] and former coach Gao Hongbo returned to the role on 3 February 2016, where he had to face a task of guiding China in at the expense of North Korea which had a better second-place ranking than China. Gao's first two matches were consecutive wins against Maldives and Qatar, and with North Korea suddenly slipping out against the Philippines, these results secured the team's passage to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and entering the final qualifying stage for the World Cup.

China continued their World Cup hunt by a 2–3 defeat to South Korea;[55] and a goalless draw to AFC's then highest ranked Iran at home.[56] However, China followed that with a 0–1 loss at home to Syria and 0–2 away to Uzbekistan next month. Gao Hongbo resigned. His team had been winless in the first four matches of the final qualifying stage for the World Cup, including a home loss to Syria which was criticised by a number of fans.[57]

Marcello Lippi's tenure edit

 
Chinese players after win against Thailand at 2019 AFC Asian Cup Round of 16

On 22 October 2016, Marcello Lippi was appointed manager of the team ahead for the last remaining matches.[58] A match saw China defeat South Korea for the first time in a FIFA-sanctioned tournament, amidst the heat of tensions over South Korea's deployment of THAAD.[59] However, China's away loss to Iran and a 2–2 draw to Syria meant China was unable to compete with and dragged behind by Syria who managed a 2–2 draw with Iran and not to be qualified for the 2018 World Cup under Lippi's tenure, but improvements could be seen following two late wins over Uzbekistan and Qatar.[60]

Lippi led the side during the final stage of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, where China won 2–1 to Kyrgyzstan and 3–0 to Philippines, before losing 2–0 to group leaders South Korea on 16 January.[61] China then beat Thailand 2–1 to earn a place in the quarter-finals, where it was knocked 3–0 out by Iran; Lippi subsequently confirmed his departure from the team.[62]

Another Italian and former Ballon d'Or winner, Fabio Cannavaro was appointed as the next China's manager in conjunction with coaching Guangzhou Evergrande but he stepped down after only two matches.[63]

Lacking options when it came to searching for a new coach, CFA re-appointed Marcello Lippi.[64] To improve the team, China had begun a series of naturalization on foreign-based players, with Nico Yennaris, an English-born Cypriot,[65] and Tyias Browning, another English-born player, being naturalized.[66] Subsequently, Elkeson, a Brazilian player with no Chinese ancestry, was naturalized.[67] Despite the process of naturalization, the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification for China proved to be rockier than expected, the team could only beat the Maldives and Guam, before being held goalless in the Philippines and followed with a denting 1–2 away lost to Syria, and Lippi resigned as coach.[68]

Li Tie and Li Xiaopeng's era edit

2002 FIFA World Cup ace Li Tie was appointed as China's head coach on 2 January 2020.[69] Trailing behind Syria by five points before Li took charge, China were still unable to reclaim their first place but nonetheless managed to win all of their remaining fixtures, including an important 2–0 win over the Philippines and notably a 3–1 win over Syria to guarantee them as the best second-placed team, thus reaching the third round.[70][71]

In the third round, China shared Group B with Asian powerhouses Japan, Australia and Saudi Arabia, alongside Oman and Vietnam. The Chinese started poorly with two losses to Australia and Japan in Doha due to the COVID-19 pandemic at home preventing the country from hosting.[72][73] After this poor start, China salvaged five points in the next four matches, including a hard-fought 3–2 win over Vietnam and two 1–1 draws to Oman and especially Australia, all occurring in Sharjah, the UAE.[74][75] However, despite these improvements, Li Tie was sacked on 2 December 2021 amidst heavy criticism.[76]

After Li Tie's resignation, his World Cup teammate Li Xiaopeng took the head coach position with immense pressure.[77] China's first game under Li Xiaopeng, however, was a 0–2 away loss to Japan in Saitama, effectively ending China's hopes of finishing in the top two and could only rely on the play-offs.[78] Yet, on 1 February 2022, coinciding with the traditional Lunar New Year, the Chinese stumbled to a shock 1–3 loss to Vietnam in Hanoi, officially extending China's hunt for a second World Cup appearance to 24 years.[79] This defeat, the first in Chinese football history to Vietnam, triggered widespread anger and criticism amongst Chinese fans.[80] With their World Cup hopes lost, China grabbed a solitary point coming from a 1–1 draw with the Saudis before losing to Oman 0–2 in Muscat, finishing fifth with two more points than Vietnam.

Aleksandar Janković's era edit

After poor forms in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifications, China took part in the 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship under interim manager Aleksandar Janković. With the leadership of Janković, China won four points, finishing third after a 1–0 win over Hong Kong, though for the first time in 12 years, China did not lose to Japan away.[81] Because of this result Janković was named the permanent coach of the China national team in 2023, with the aim to guide China to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.[82]

On 1 January 2024, China suffered a 1–2 defeat to Hong Kong in an international friendly, marking their first loss in 39 years.[83] Later, for the first time ever, China could not score in three consecutive matches at the AFC Asian Cup as they fell to third with only two points and later eliminated.

Team image edit

The team is colloquially termed "Dragon's Team" (Chinese: 龙之队; pinyin: Lóng zhī duì),[84] "Team China" (Chinese: 中国队), the "National Team" (Chinese: 国家队) or "Guózú" (Chinese: 国足, short for Chinese: 国家足球队; pinyin: Guójiā Zúqiú Duì; lit. 'national football team').[85]

China's home kit is traditionally all-red with a white or yellow 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.[86] The team has also started to use cooling vests in certain warmer climates.[87] After decades of having Adidas producing the team's kits, China's current kit has been produced and manufactured by Nike since 2015.

Kit supplier Period Contract
announcement
Contract
duration
Value Notes
  Adidas 1991–2014
  Nike 2015–present
2015-01-03
2015–2026 (11 years) $16 million per year [88][89]

Rivalries edit

Japan edit

China's rivalry with Japan was exemplified after their 3–1 defeat in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final on home soil.[90] The subsequent rioting by Chinese fans at the Workers' Stadium was said to be provoked by controversial officiating during the tournament and the heightened anti-Japanese sentiment at the time.

South Korea edit

Another rivalry is with neighbour South Korea who China played 27 matches against between 1978 and 2010, without winning a single match. 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.

Hong Kong edit

A rivalry with Hong Kong has been created due to political tensions as well as issues during 2018 World Cup qualification. With Hong Kong fans booing the Chinese national anthem, which Hong Kong share with China, 2018 World Cup qualifier matches were also very tense with both matches resulting in 0–0 draws.

On 1 January 2024, China suffered a 1–2 defeat to Hong Kong in an international friendly, marking their first loss in 39 years.[83]

Uzbekistan edit

The rivalry with Uzbekistan is a recent development, but also stemmed from previous results which saw China suffered shock defeats to the hand of Uzbekistan in several competitive football games. The two nations first met each other in the final for the 1994 Asian Games, where Uzbekistan, with a squad depleted due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, stunned China with a 4–2 win to claim gold in Uzbekistan's debut in any major football tournament; the game had been accused of match-fixing, though evidence have yet to emerge.[91]

This was soon repeated again in the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, which was Uzbekistan's debut in a major competitive football tournament, which China suffered a blowing 0–2 defeat to the Uzbeks, with both goals scored in the dying times right in what would be Uzbekistan's first-ever Asian Cup fixture. Since then, Uzbekistan has frequently become a problematic opponent for China, with China often lost more than won in competitive games against the Uzbeks.[92] China has never beaten Uzbekistan on Uzbek soil, with all two visiting trips ending in defeats for the Chinese.

Vietnam edit

Vietnam have faced China 17 times (including results before 1997) with China having the better record of 14 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses, although their first official meeting recorded by FIFA happened in 1997 as part of the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification (as previous meetings before 1997 occurred when China and North Vietnam didn't align with FIFA). For the most part, the rivalry was deemed insignificant due to the gulf between the countries. This changed with the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, notably when Vietnam gained a shock 3–1 win over China in Hanoi on Lunar New Year, eliminating China from the qualification and thus increasing the importance of the rivalry for the first time.[93] This defeat had an enormous impact in China and provoked widespread calls to reform football in China, and the desire to defeat Vietnam, sparking the rivalry between the two nations.[94] Outside of football, politically, China and Vietnam have had many wars in the past, along with geographical disputes, which elevates the rivalry.[95]

Results and fixtures edit

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixture

2023 edit

23 March 2023 (2023-03-23) Friendly New Zealand   0–0   China Auckland, New Zealand
19:00 UTC+13 Report Stadium: Mount Smart Stadium
Attendance: 12,049
Referee: Sivakorn Pu-udom (Thailand)
26 March 2023 (2023-03-26) Friendly New Zealand   2–1   China Wellington, New Zealand
16:00 UTC+13
Report
Stadium: Sky Stadium
Referee: Kim Woo-sung (South Korea)
16 June 2023 (2023-06-16) Friendly China   4–0   Myanmar Dalian, China
18:30 UTC+8
Report Stadium: Dalian Barracuda Bay Football Stadium
Attendance: 27,651
Referee: Ryo Tanimoto (Japan)
20 June 2023 (2023-06-20) Friendly China   2–0   Palestine Dalian, China
19:35 UTC+8
Report Stadium: Dalian Barracuda Bay Football Stadium
Attendance: 16,151
Referee: Yudai Yamamoto (Japan)
9 September 2023 (2023-09-09) Friendly China   1–1   Malaysia Chengdu, China
19:35 UTC+8 Report
Stadium: Chengdu Phoenix Hill Football Stadium
Attendance: 26,138
Referee: Abdulhadi Al-Ruaile (Qatar)
12 September 2023 (2023-09-12) Friendly China   0–1   Syria Chengdu, China
19:35 UTC+8 Report
Stadium: Chengdu Phoenix Hill Football Stadium
Attendance: 12,367
Referee: Sami Al-Jires (Saudi Arabia)
10 October 2023 (2023-10-10) Friendly China   2–0   Vietnam Dalian, China
19:35 UTC+8
Report Stadium: Dalian Sports Centre Stadium
Attendance: 9,219
Referee: Woo Chun Sing (Hong Kong)
16 October 2023 (2023-10-16) Friendly China   1–2   Uzbekistan Dalian, China
19:35 UTC+8
Report
Stadium: Dalian Sports Centre Stadium
Attendance: 12,868
Referee: Tam Ping Wun (Hong Kong)
16 November 2023 (2023-11-16) World Cup qualification Thailand   1–2   China Bangkok, Thailand
19:30 UTC+7
Report
Stadium: Rajamangala Stadium
Attendance: 35,009
Referee: Salman Falahi (Qatar)
21 November 2023 (2023-11-21) World Cup qualification China   0–3   South Korea Shenzhen, China
20:00 UTC+8 Report
Stadium: Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre Stadium
Attendance: 39,969
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)
29 December 2023 (2023-12-29) Friendly Oman   2–0   China Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
19:15 UTC+4 Stadium: Baniyas Stadium
Referee: Yahya Mohammed Ali Hassan Al-Mulla (United Arab Emirates)

2024 edit

1 January 2024 (2024-01-01) Friendly China   1–2   Hong Kong Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
17:30 UTC+4
Stadium: Baniyas Stadium
Attendance: 0
Referee: Yahya Mohammed Ali Hassan Al-Mulla (United Arab Emirates)
13 January 2024 (2024-01-13) AFC Asian Cup China   0–0   Tajikistan Doha, Qatar
17:30 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium
Attendance: 4,001
Referee: Mohammed Al Hoish (Saudi Arabia)
17 January 2024 (2024-01-17) AFC Asian Cup Lebanon   0–0   China Doha, Qatar
14:30 UTC+3 Report Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium
Attendance: 14,137
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)
22 January 2024 (2024-01-22) AFC Asian Cup Qatar   1–0   China Al Rayyan, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Referee: Abdullah Jamali (Kuwait)
21 March 2024 (2024-03-21) World Cup qualification Singapore   v   China Kallang, Singapore
--:--  Report Stadium: National Stadium
26 March 2024 (2024-03-26) World Cup qualification China   v   Singapore Tianjin, China
20:00 UTC+8 Report Stadium: Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium
6 June 2024 (2024-06-06) World Cup qualification China   v   Thailand China
--:-- UTC+8 Report
11 June 2024 (2024-06-11) World Cup qualification South Korea   v   China South Korea
--:-- UTC+9 Report
  • 1 : Non FIFA 'A' international match

Coaching staff edit

Source[96]
Position Name
Technical director   Gao Hongbo
Head coach Vacant
Team manager   Qi Jun
Assistant coach   Zhu Wangqong
  Li Jianxing
  Shao Jiayi
  Zheng Zhi
Goalkeeper coach   Ou Chuliang
  Li Leilei
Conditioning coach   Guo Xiaolei
Fitness coach   Hu Yu
Video analyst   Jiang Yong
  Zhang Bin
Match analyst   Sui Han
Therapists   Jin Ri
  Jiang Wenyu
  Hang Yanrui
Manager   Wang Yue
Logistics   Yang Hao
  Chen Xi
  Che Hengzhi
Doctor   Wang Shucheng
Team coordinator   Yuan Jiayang

Coaching history edit

1930–1948 edit

1951–present edit

As of 22 January 2024[97]

Players edit

Current squad edit

The following 26 players were called up for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.[98]

Caps and goals are correct as of 22 January 2024, after the match against   Qatar.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Yan Junling (1991-01-28) 28 January 1991 (age 33) 56 0   Shanghai Port
12 1GK Jian Tao (2001-06-22) 22 June 2001 (age 22) 0 0   Chengdu Rongcheng
14 1GK Wang Dalei (1989-01-10) 10 January 1989 (age 35) 29 0   Shandong Taishan
25 1GK Liu Dianzuo (1990-06-25) 25 June 1990 (age 33) 4 0   Wuhan Three Towns

2 2DF Jiang Guangtai (1994-05-30) 30 May 1994 (age 29) 24 1   Shanghai Port
3 2DF Zhu Chenjie (2000-08-23) 23 August 2000 (age 23) 26 1   Shanghai Shenhua
4 2DF Li Lei (1992-05-30) 30 May 1992 (age 31) 12 0   Beijing Guoan
5 2DF Zhang Linpeng (1989-05-09) 9 May 1989 (age 34) 104 6   Shanghai Port
13 2DF Xu Haofeng (1999-01-27) 27 January 1999 (age 25) 4 0   Shenzhen
19 2DF Liu Yang (1995-06-17) 17 June 1995 (age 28) 26 0   Shandong Taishan
22 2DF Wu Shaocong (2000-03-20) 20 March 2000 (age 23) 7 0   Gençlerbirliği
24 2DF Jiang Shenglong (2000-12-24) 24 December 2000 (age 23) 7 0   Shanghai Shenhua

6 3MF Wang Shangyuan (1993-06-02) 2 June 1993 (age 30) 15 1   Henan
8 3MF Xu Xin (1994-04-19) 19 April 1994 (age 29) 16 1   Shanghai Port
10 3MF Xie Pengfei (1993-06-29) 29 June 1993 (age 30) 16 0   Wuhan Three Towns
15 3MF Wu Xi (captain) (1989-02-19) 19 February 1989 (age 35) 90 9   Shanghai Shenhua
16 3MF Gao Tianyi (1998-07-01) 1 July 1998 (age 25) 4 0   Beijing Guoan
17 3MF Chen Pu (1997-01-15) 15 January 1997 (age 27) 7 0   Shandong Taishan
18 3MF Dai Wai Tsun (1999-07-25) 25 July 1999 (age 24) 14 0   Shanghai Shenhua
21 3MF Liu Binbin (1993-06-16) 16 June 1993 (age 30) 21 1   Shandong Taishan
23 3MF Lin Liangming (1997-06-04) 4 June 1997 (age 26) 10 2   Dalian Pro
26 3MF Wang Qiuming (1993-01-09) 9 January 1993 (age 31) 7 1   Tianjin Jinmen Tiger

7 4FW Wu Lei (1991-11-19) 19 November 1991 (age 32) 94 32   Shanghai Port
9 4FW Zhang Yuning (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 27) 28 5   Beijing Guoan
11 4FW Tan Long (1988-04-01) 1 April 1988 (age 35) 20 3   Changchun Yatai
20 4FW Wei Shihao (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 28) 27 3   Wuhan Three Towns

Recent call-ups edit

The following players have also been called up to the squad within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Ma Zhen (1998-06-01) 1 June 1998 (age 25) 0 0   Shanghai Shenhua v.   Uzbekistan, 16 October 2023

DF Yeljan Shinar (1999-06-09) 9 June 1999 (age 24) 1 0   Nantong Zhiyun v.   Vietnam, 10 October 2023
DF He Yupeng (1999-12-05) 5 December 1999 (age 24) 5 0   Dalian Pro v.   Uzbekistan, 16 October 2023
DF Wang Shenchao (1989-02-08) 8 February 1989 (age 35) 21 0   Shanghai Port v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
DF Deng Hanwen (1995-01-08) 8 January 1995 (age 29) 15 0   Wuhan Three Towns v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
DF Gao Zhunyi (1995-08-21) 21 August 1995 (age 28) 14 0   Wuhan Three Towns v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
DF Li Shuai (1995-06-18) 18 June 1995 (age 28) 2 0   Shanghai Port v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
DF Ming Tian (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 28) 5 0   Tianjin Jinmen Tiger v.   Palestine, 20 June 2023
DF Ren Hang (1989-02-23) 23 February 1989 (age 34) 32 1   Wuhan Three Towns v.   New Zealand, 23 March 2023INJ
DF Liu Yiming (1995-02-28) 28 February 1995 (age 28) 13 0   Wuhan Three Towns v.   New Zealand, 23 March 2023
DF Li Ang (1993-09-15) 15 September 1993 (age 30) 8 0   Shanghai Port v.   New Zealand, 23 March 2023

MF Li Ke (1993-05-24) 24 May 1993 (age 30) 12 0   Beijing Guoan 2023 AFC Asian CupWD
MF Zhang Jiaqi (1991-12-09) 9 December 1991 (age 32) 7 0   Zhejiang v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
MF Sun Guowen (1993-09-30) 30 September 1993 (age 30) 4 0   Shandong Taishan v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
MF He Chao (1995-04-19) 19 April 1995 (age 28) 7 0   Wuhan Three Towns v.   New Zealand, 23 March 2023

FW Ai Kesen (1989-07-13) 13 July 1989 (age 34) 18 4   Chengdu Rongcheng v.   Uzbekistan, 16 October 2023
FW Fang Hao (2000-01-03) 3 January 2000 (age 24) 5 0   Beijing Guoan v.   Uzbekistan, 16 October 2023
FW Wang Ziming (1996-08-05) 5 August 1996 (age 27) 5 0   Beijing Guoan v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
FW Ba Dun (1995-09-16) 16 September 1995 (age 28) 3 1   Tianjin Jinmen Tiger v.   Syria, 12 September 2023
FW Xie Weijun (1997-11-14) 14 November 1997 (age 26) 1 0   Tianjin Jinmen Tiger v.   Vietnam, 10 October 2023

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Withdrew due to non-injury related reasons

Individual records edit

Players in bold are still active with China.

Manager records edit

Most manager appearances
  Gao Fengwen: 56 (1986-1990)

Competitive record edit

FIFA World Cup edit

China has only appeared at one World Cup with the appearance being in the 2002 FIFA World Cup where they finished bottom of the group which included a 4–0 loss to Brazil.[101]

Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Did not enter Declined participation
  1934
  1938
  1950
  1954
  1958 Did not qualify 3 1 1 1 4 5
  1962 Did not enter Declined participation
  1966
  1970
  1974
  1978
  1982 Did not qualify 12 7 2 3 19 8
  1986 6 4 1 1 23 2
  1990 11 7 0 4 18 9
  1994 8 6 0 2 18 4
  1998 14 8 3 3 24 16
    2002 Group stage 31st 3 0 0 3 0 9 14 12 1 1 38 5
  2006 Did not qualify 6 5 0 1 14 1
  2010 8 3 3 2 14 4
  2014 8 5 0 3 23 9
  2018 18 8 5 5 35 11
  2022 18 7 4 7 39 22
      2026 To be determined 2 1 0 1 2 4
      2030 To be determined
  2034
Total Group stage 1/22 3 0 0 3 0 9 128 74 20 34 271 100

AFC Asian Cup edit

Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1956 Did not enter Did not enter
  1960 Did not enter Did not enter
  1964 Did not enter Did not enter
  1968 Did not enter Did not enter
  1972 Did not enter Did not enter
  1976 Third place 3rd 4 1 1 2 2 4 5 4 0 1 14 4
  1980 Group stage 7th 4 1 1 2 9 5 3 2 0 1 5 2
  1984 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 0 2 11 4 4 4 0 0 15 0
  1988 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 7 5 5 2 3 0 10 1
  1992 Third place 3rd 5 1 3 1 6 6 3 3 0 0 7 0
  1996 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 0 3 6 7 3 3 0 0 16 1
  2000 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 11 7 3 3 0 0 29 0
  2004 Runners-up 2nd 6 3 2 1 13 6 Qualified as hosts
        2007 Group stage 9th 3 1 1 1 7 6 6 3 2 1 7 3
  2011 9th 3 1 1 1 4 4 6 4 1 1 13 5
  2015 Quarter-finals 7th 4 3 0 1 5 4 6 2 2 2 5 6
  2019 6th 5 3 0 2 7 7 8 5 2 1 27 1
  2023 Group stage 18th 3 0 2 1 0 1 8 6 1 1 30 3
  2027 To be determined To be determined
Total 13/18 0 Titles 59 23 15 21 88 66 58 39 11 8 166 26


Summer Olympics edit

Year Result Pos Pld W D L GF GA
  1900 to   1928 Did not enter
  1936 First round 12 1 0 0 1 0 2
  1948 14 1 0 0 1 0 4
  1952 to   1956 Withdrew after qualifying
  1960 to   1976 Not an IOC member
  1980 to   1984 Did not qualify
  1988 First round 14 3 0 1 2 0 5
Total 3/25 - 5 0 1 4 0 11

For 1992 to 2020, see China national under-23 football team

Asian Games edit

Year Result Rank Pld W D L GF GA
  1951 Did not enter
  1954 Did not enter
  1958 Did not enter
  1962 Did not enter
  1966 Did not enter
  1970 Did not enter
  1974 First round 10 3 1 0 2 7 4
  1978 Third place 3 7 5 0 2 16 5
  1982 Quarter-finals 7 4 2 1 1 4 3
  1986 8 4 2 1 1 10 7
  1990 6 4 2 0 2 8 4
  1994 Runners-up 2 7 5 1 1 16 8
  1998 Third place 3 8 6 0 2 24 7
Total* 7/13 - 37 23 3 11 85 38

* Including 1998 onwards (until 2010)

For 2002 to 2022, see China national under-23 football team

EAFF East Asian Cup edit

Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
  2003 Third place 3 1 0 2 3 4
  2005 Champions 3 1 2 0 5 3
  2008 Third place 3 1 0 2 5 5
  2010 Champions 3 2 1 0 5 0
  2013 Runners-up 3 1 2 0 7 6
  2015 Runners-up 3 1 1 1 3 3
  2017 Third place 3 0 2 1 4 5
  2019 Third place 3 1 0 2 3 3
  2022 Third place 3 1 1 1 1 3
Total 9/9 27 9 9 9 36 32

Head-to-head record edit

As of 22 January 2024 after match against   Qatar

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

Nations First Played Played Win Draw Loss Goals For Goals Against Goal Diff Win Percentage Confederation
  Afghanistan[102] 1984 1 1 0 0 6 0 +6 100% AFC
  Albania[103] 1973 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 50% UEFA
  Algeria[104] 2004 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CAF
  Andorra[105] 2004 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 50% UEFA
  Argentina[106] 1984 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CONMEBOL
  Australia[107] 1983 10 4 2 4 11 17 −6 50% AFC
  Bahrain[108] 1986 7 3 4 0 14 8 +6 71.43% AFC
  Bangladesh[109] 1980 5 5 0 0 15 0 +15 100% AFC
  Bhutan[110] 2015 2 2 0 0 18 0 +18 100% AFC
  Bosnia and Herzegovina[111] 1997 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 100% UEFA
  Botswana[112] 2009 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100% CAF
  Brazil[113] 2002 3 0 1 2 0 12 −12 16.67% CONMEBOL
  Brunei[114] 1975 3 3 0 0 22 1 +21 100% AFC
  Cambodia[115] 1963 5 5 0 0 21 2 +19 100% AFC
  Canada[116] 1986 2 2 0 0 3 0 +3 100% CONCACAF
  Chile[117] 2003 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 50% CONMEBOL
  Colombia[118] 1995 4 1 1 2 4 8 −4 37.5% CONMEBOL
  Costa Rica[119] 2002 5 1 2 2 6 8 −2 40% CONCACAF
  Croatia[120] 2017 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 50% UEFA
  Cuba[121] 1971 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CONCACAF
  Czech Republic[122] 2018 1 0 0 1 1 4 −3 0% UEFA
  Egypt[123] 1963 2 0 1 1 0 2 −2 25% CAF
  El Salvador[124] 2008 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 50% CONCACAF
  England[b][125] 1936 2 0 0 2 0 5 −5 0% UEFA
  Estonia[126] 2003 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4 100% UEFA
  Finland[127] 1952 4 3 0 1 6 7 −1 75% UEFA
  France[128] 2006 2 1 0 1 2 3 −1 50% UEFA
  Germany[129] 2005 2 0 1 1 1 2 −1 25% UEFA
  Ghana[130] 1978 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 75% CAF
  Guam[131] 2000 3 3 0 0 33 0 +33 100% AFC
  Guinea[132] 1972 2 1 1 0 6 3 +3 75% CAF
  Haiti[133] 2003 2 0 1 1 5 6 −1 25% CONCACAF
  Honduras[134] 2006 3 1 1 1 3 1 +2 50% CONCACAF
  Hong Kong[135] 1975 27 18 7 2 48 7 +21 79.63% AFC
  Hungary[136] 2004 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100% UEFA
  Iceland[137] 2017 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 0% UEFA
  India[138] 1956 12 8 4 0 23 5 +18 83.33% AFC
  Indonesia[139] 1934 17 11 3 3 42 14 +26 73.53% AFC
  Iran[140] 1976 25 5 7 13 21 43 −22 34% AFC
  Iraq[141] 1976 19 7 3 9 19 19 0 44.74% AFC
  Italy[142] 1986 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 0% UEFA
  Jamaica[143] 1977 3 3 0 0 5 0 +5 100% CONCACAF
  Japan[144] 1917 36 12 9 15 52 45 +7 45.83% AFC
  Jordan[145] 1984 12 6 5 1 25 9 +16 70.83% AFC
  Kazakhstan[146] 1997 3 2 0 1 5 2 +3 66.67% UEFA
  North Korea[147] 1960 21 10 6 5 28 19 +9 61.9% AFC
  South Korea[148] 1978 37 2 13 22 26 55 −29 22.97% AFC
  Kuwait[149] 1975 18 8 5 5 24 16 +8 58.33% AFC
  Kyrgyzstan[150] 2009 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4 100% AFC
  Laos[151] 2011 2 2 0 0 13 3 +10 100% AFC
  Latvia[152] 2010 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% UEFA
  Lebanon[153] 1998 6 4 2 0 13 1 +12 83.33% AFC
  Macau[154] 1978 6 6 0 0 25 3 +22 100% AFC
  Malaysia[155] 1976 14 9 4 1 32 8 +24 78.57% AFC
  Maldives[156] 2001 6 6 0 0 28 1 +27 100% AFC
  Mali[157] 1963 3 2 0 1 8 4 +4 66.67% CAF
  Mexico[158] 1987 3 0 0 3 2 7 −5 0% CONCACAF
  Myanmar[159] 1956 11 9 0 2 35 4 +31 81.82% AFC
    Nepal[160] 1972 4 4 0 0 31 2 +29 100% AFC
  Netherlands[161] 1996 2 0 0 2 0 4 −4 0% UEFA
  New Zealand[162] 1975 13 3 5 5 11 12 −1 42.31% OFC
  North Macedonia[163] 2004 5 3 2 0 4 0 +4 80% UEFA
  Norway[164] 1992 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 100% UEFA
  Oman[165] 1998 8 3 1 4 11 10 +1 43.75% AFC
  Pakistan[166] 1963 9 5 2 2 23 10 +13 66.67% AFC
  Palestine[167] 1966 7 5 2 0 17 2 +15 83.33% AFC
  Papua New Guinea[168] 1985 2 1 1 0 5 2 +3 75% OFC
  Paraguay[169] 1996 3 1 1 1 3 4 −1 50% CONMEBOL
  Peru[170] 1978 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 50% CONMEBOL
  Philippines[171] 1913 24 18 4 2 59 13 +46 83.33% AFC
  Poland[172] 1984 2 0 0 2 0 2 −2 0% UEFA
  Portugal[173] 2002 1 0 0 1 0 2 −2 0% UEFA
  Qatar[174] 1978 21 9 5 7 24 17 +7 54.76% AFC
  Republic of Ireland[175] 1984 2 0 0 2 0 2 −2 0% UEFA
  Romania[176] 1959 3 1 0 2 3 5 −2 33.33% UEFA
  Russia[c][177] 1959 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1 0% UEFA
  Saudi Arabia[178] 1978 19 6 5 8 22 26 −4 44.74% AFC
  Senegal[179] 1972 2 1 1 0 5 2 +3 75% CAF
  Serbia[d][180] 1956 5 0 0 5 0 11 −11 0% UEFA
  Sierra Leone[181] 1974 1 1 0 0 4 1 +3 100% CAF
  Singapore[182] 1984 16 11 3 2 32 8 +24 78.13% AFC
  Slovenia[183] 2002 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 50% UEFA
  Somalia[184] 1972 2 2 0 0 10 5 +5 100% CAF
  South Yemen[185] 1972 2 2 0 0 10 7 +3 100% AFC
  Spain[186] 2005 2 0 0 2 0 4 −4 0% UEFA
  Sri Lanka[187] 1980 2 2 0 0 10 0 +10 100% AFC
  Sweden[188] 2001 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 16.67% UEFA
   Switzerland[189] 2006 1 0 0 1 1 4 −3 0% UEFA
  Syria[190] 1966 15 8 2 5 29 14 +15 60% AFC
  Tajikistan[191] 1997 6 4 2 0 9 1 +8 83.33% AFC
  Tanzania[192] 1966 3 2 1 0 15 4 +11 83.33% CAF
  Thailand[193] 1970 30 20 4 6 66 24 +42 73.33% AFC
  Trinidad and Tobago[194] 2001 2 2 0 0 7 2 +5 100% CONCACAF
  Tunisia[195] 1988 2 0 2 0 1 1 0 50% CAF
  Turkey[196] 1948 2 0 0 2 0 7 −7 0% UEFA
  Turkmenistan[197] 1994 4 3 1 0 10 3 +7 87.5% AFC
  United Arab Emirates[198] 1984 11 5 5 1 16 6 +10 68.18% AFC
  United States[199] 1977 8 1 2 5 7 17 −10 25% CONCACAF
  Uruguay[200] 1982 6 1 2 3 2 9 −7 33.33% CONMEBOL
  Uzbekistan[201] 1994 15 6 1 8 18 22 −4 43.33% AFC
  Venezuela[202] 1978 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% CONMEBOL
  Vietnam[e][203] 1960 12 11 0 1 33 11 +22 91.67% AFC
  Wales[204] 2018 1 0 0 1 0 6 −6 0% UEFA
  Yemen[205] 1966 5 3 1 1 11 1 +10 70% AFC
  Zambia[206] 1972 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 50% CAF
  Zimbabwe[207] 1997 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2 100% CAF
Total (105) 1913 658 323 144 191 1163 690 +475 49.09% All

1913–1923 edit

All matches before the founding of Chinese Football Association in 1924 are not counted as A-level match by FIFA:
Nations First Played Played Win Draw Loss Goals For Goals Against Goal Diff Win Percentage Confederation
  Australia 1923 6 1 1 4 9 19 −10 25% AFC
  Japan 1917 3 3 0 0 14 1 +13 100% AFC
  Hong Kong 1923 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 50% AFC
  Philippines 1913 10 6 2 2 15 6 +9 70% AFC
Total (4) 1913 21 10 4 6 41 28 +13 61.25% All

Honours edit

Continental edit

Regional edit

Minor tournaments edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Also as a player.
  2. ^ The Great Britain Olympic football team's matches at the 1936 Summer Olympics are counted as England's FIFA A-level match.
  3. ^ Includes Soviet Union.
  4. ^ Includes Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro before 1975.
  5. ^ Includes North Vietnam and South Vietnam before 1975.

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External links edit