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Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C.

Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club is a professional Chinese football club that participates in the Chinese Super League under the license of the Chinese Football Association. The team is based in Guangzhou, Guangdong, and their home stadium is the Tianhe Stadium which has a seating capacity of 58,500. Their majority shareholders are the Evergrande Real Estate Group (56.71%) and the e-commerce company Alibaba Group (37.81%)[2][3][4][5] while the rest of the shares are traded in the Chinese OTC system.

Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
Guǎngzhōu Héngdà Táobǎo
广州恒大淘宝
GuangzhouEvergrandeTaobao FC 2015.png
Full name Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club
广州恒大淘宝足球俱乐部
Nickname(s) Southern China Tigers (华南虎)
Founded June 1954; 64 years ago (June 1954) (Semi-professional)
8 January 1993; 25 years ago (8 January 1993) (Professional)
Ground Tianhe Stadium
Ground Capacity 58,500
Owner
Evergrande Group(56.71%)
Alibaba Group(37.81%)
free-floats (NEEQ834338)(5.48%)
Chairman Gao Han[1]
Manager Fabio Cannavaro
League Chinese Super League
2017 Super League, 1st
Website Club website
Current season
Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C.
Simplified Chinese 广州恒大淘宝足球俱乐部
Traditional Chinese 廣州恆大淘寶足球俱樂部
Guangzhou Evergrande
Simplified Chinese 广州恒大
Traditional Chinese 廣州恆大
Southern China Tigers
Simplified Chinese 华南虎
Traditional Chinese 華南虎

They were founded in 1954, and won several second tier titles before they became professional in 1993. Their results improved, leading to a runners-up spot in China's top tier. Unable to improve upon these results the club went through a period of stagnation and decline before they experienced a brief revival when they won the 2007 second division. In 2009 the club were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal and they were punished with relegation. The Evergrande Real Estate Group decided to purchase the club and pumped significant funds into the team. They immediately won promotion and gained their first top tier title in the 2011 season. The club is the only Chinese football club to win AFC Champions League twice, in 2013 and 2015.[6][7] The club is also the first Chinese club to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup, making its first appearance in 2013.

According to Forbes, Guangzhou Evergrande is the most valuable football team in China, with a team value of US$282 million and an estimated revenue of US$57 million in 2015.[8] However, the actual figures were total assets CN¥2.009 billion, net assets (equity) CN¥524.9 million, revenue CN¥380.6 million and a net loss of CN¥953.2 million in 2015 financial year (2015 season).[9] It was decreased to CN¥1.273 billion in total assets in 2016, but increased in revenue (to CN¥561 million) and equity (CN¥607 million). The net loss of 2016 season was decreased to CN¥812 million.[10]

Contents

HistoryEdit

In June 1954, the local Guangzhou sports body founded Guangzhou FC to take part in the recently formed Chinese national football league. They entered the club in the 1955 league season and named Luo Dizhi as their first manager. He guided them to an eighth spot finish in their debut campaign.[11] The league had grown to incorporate a second tier and their debut season performance final standing relegated them to the second division. Guangzhou won the division championship, however the Chinese Football Association decided to restructure the league at the beginning of the 1957 season and Guangzhou were denied promotion.[12] Despite this, Luo Rongman managed the team to win the 1958 second division title; however, the club were unable to gain promotion because this time they went into receivership. They were not re-established until April 1961 and were allowed to take part in the top tier. Back within the top division Guangzhou often struggled within the league and were again relegated to the second tier at the end of the 1963 league season. They remained there until 1966 when the Cultural Revolution halted football in China.[13]

When the Chinese football league restarted, Guangzhou took the unusual step of abstaining from the competition and instead on 26 October 1977 brought Luo Rongman to manage in their development of their youth team.[14] The team played within the National Youth League until 1980 when it was decided that they were mature enough to play in the football league pyramid. They started in the recently created third division. The club's youth team development immediately paid off and players such as Mai Chao, Zhao Dayu and later Wu Qunli all rapidly rose into Chinese international footballers. Guangzhou gained successive promotions until they reached the top tier. At the end of the 1982 league season Guangzhou were relegated again. They returned to the top division at the end of the 1984 season via the Chinese FA Cup. With this promotion on 1 October 1984, the club was the first Chinese team to gain sponsorship when Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. signed a $200,000 annual deal with the club.[15]

Throughout the 1990s, the Chinese Football Association were demanding more professionalism from their football teams. Guangzhou was one of the first fully professional football clubs in China after the Apollo Group took over the club on 8 January 1993. The investment aided the manager Zhou Sui'an to help create a competitive squad. Hu Zhijun won the top goalscoring award. Guangzhou were able to gain a runners-up spot at the 1994 league season.[16] The following season Zhou Sui'an left the team after having twice guided the club to a runners-up position within the league and a runners up spot against Shanghai in the 1991 Chinese FA Cup. After his exit, the club were unable to replicate the same results. When influential international footballers Peng Weiguo and Hu Zhijun left the club, the team went into free fall and were relegated at the end of the 1998 league season.[17] With the management concerned about the team's performance, an investigation was launched which discovered that Wen Junwu and three other players were in collusion with gambling groups and were immediately expelled from the club.[18] In 2001, the Guangzhou Sports Bureau took over the club again. With significant investment coming from the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd it was hoped that the club could push for promotion. The division was rocked by a match-fixing scandal involving Changchun Yatai, Chengdu Wuniu, Jiangsu Sainty and Zhejing Greentown. Guangzhou's new sponsors Geely immediately pulled their funding from the team to distance themselves from the bad publicity.[19] The club went through a tough transitional period until the Sunray Cave Group took over the club in 2004 and started to invest money in hopes of pushing for promotion.[20] When the Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals group took over the club in 2006, they were able to realize the ambition of gaining promotion. The club won the 2007 division title and entry to the Chinese Super League.[21] In February 2010, Guangzhou was relegated back to the China League One in the fallout of a match-fixing scandal despite having achieved a ninth-place finish in the 2009 season.[22] The match in question was the 19 August 2006 league game against Shanxi Luhu, which Guangzhou won 5–1 when they were still playing in the China League One. It was discovered by the police that the Guangzhou general manager Yang Xu paid ¥200,000 to the opposing general manager Wang Po to secure a win at home and that Guangzhou's vice president's Wu Xiaodong and Xie Bin knew about it.[23] With the offending participants sentenced to jail for fraud, the club was put up for sale.[24] On 28 February 2010, Evergrande Real Estate Group took over the club for a fee of ¥100 million. Xu Jiayin, chairman of Evergrande Real Estate Group, said that they would pump more funds into the transfer market.[25] His first act was to sign in Chinese national team striker Gao Lin from Shanghai Shenhua for a reported fee of ¥6 million, then he replaced the head coach Peng Weiguo with former Beijing Guoan manager Lee Jang-Soo with no indication. In the 2010 summer transfer window, the club signed Sun Xiang, the first Chinese footballer to play in the UEFA Champions League with PSV Eindhoven, and Chinese national team captain Zheng Zhi on 28 June 2010. On 30 June 2010, Guangzhou confirmed that they had signed Muriqui on a four-year deal from Campeonato Brasileiro Série A side Atlético Mineiro with a domestic record fee of ¥23 million.[26] On 30 October 2010, Guangzhou became League One champions for the second time and returned to the Super League after a 3–1 win against Hunan Billows.[27]

During the 2011 season, Guangzhou Evergrande further strengthened its squad with the purchase of Argentinean Dario Conca and Brazilian Cléo.[28] Although the team was promoted to the Super League in the first year, they clinched the league title in late September 2011 although there were four games yet to play.[29] In March 2012, Guangzhou played and won their first ever AFC Champions League match, thrashing Korean champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 5–1.[30] In addition, Paraguayan Lucas Barrios left the German champions Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2012 to join Guangzhou Evergrande.[31] Marcello Lippi replaced Lee Jang-Soo as the head coach and brought in South Korean defender Kim Young-Gwon and Chinese midfielder Huang Bowen.[32] Guangzhou was knocked out of the 2012 AFC Champions League when they lost 5–4 on aggregate to Al-Ittihad in the quarterfinals.[33] They were the first Chinese side to reach the quarterfinals since 2006. During the 2012 season, Guangzhou won the league for the second time in a row, becoming the first team in China to win the Super League title twice in a row, while also securing the Chinese FA Cup and Super Cup to become double winners for 2012.[34]

In the 2013 season, Guangzhou Evergrande strengthened their squad by signing Chinese goalkeeper Zeng Cheng and Brazilian Elkeson.[35] This proved to be beneficial to Guangzhou as they became the first team in China to win the Super League three times in a row. The club also won the 2013 AFC Champions League in the final against FC Seoul, after drawing 2–2 in the first leg in Seoul and 1–1 in the second leg in Guangzhou, becoming the first Chinese side to win the tournament on the away goals rule.[36] By winning the AFC Champions League, Guangzhou was assured a place in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, entering in the quarterfinals, beating the African champions Al Ahly 2–0. In the semifinals, they were defeated by the European champions Bayern Munich 3–0. In the third place match, the club lost against South American champions Atlético Mineiro 3–2 and finished in fourth place.[37] Guangzhou won its fourth and fifth consecutive Chinese Super League titles in 2014 and 2015 respectively. On 21 November 2015, the club won its second continental championship, defeating Al Ahli 1–0 on aggregate in the 2015 AFC Champions League Final. In the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup, Guangzhou won 2–1 against Club América in the quarterfinals before losing 3–0 against Barcelona in the semifinals.[38] At the end, Guangzhou lost the third place match 2–1 against Hiroshima Sanfrecce, ending up in the same position as in the 2013 edition.[39]

Ownership and naming historyEdit

Year Owner Club name Sponsored team name
1954–55 Central and Southern China Institute of Sports Central and Southern China Sports Institute Football Team Central and Southern China White
1955 Guangzhou
1956 Central and Southern China White
1956–57 Guangzhou Institute of Sports Guangzhou Institute of Sports Football Team
1958 Guangzhou Football Team
1959–61 Guangzhou Public Security Bureau Guangzhou Vanguard Football Team
1962–66 Guangzhou Sports Bureau Guangzhou Football Team
1977–79 Guangzhou Youth Football Team
1980–84 Guangzhou Football Team
1985–89 Guangzhou Baiyun
1989–93 Guangzhou Football Club
1993–00 Guangdong Apollo Group Guangzhou Apollo Football Club
2001–02 Guangzhou Sports Bureau Guangzhou Football Club Guangzhou Geely
2002–03 Guangzhou Xiangxue
2004–05 Sunray Cave Group Guangzhou Sunray Cave
2005–07 Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Guangzhou GPC Football Club
2007–08 Guangzhou GPC Zhongyi
2008–09 Guangzhou GPC Baiyunshan
2010 Guangzhou Sports Bureau Guangzhou Football Club
2010 Evergrande Real Estate Group Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club Guangzhou GAC
2011–2014
2014–2015 Evergrande Real Estate Group (50%→60%)
Alibaba Group (50%→40%)
Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club
2016– Evergrande Real Estate Group (56.71%)
Alibaba Group (37.81%)
other shareholders in NEEQ (5.48%)

RivalriesEdit

When professionalism was established within the Chinese football leagues in 1994, it opened the door for more than one team within each region. This saw the establishment of Guangzhou Matsunichi which used to be the youth academy of Guangzhou FC but were sold off to Matsunichi Digital Holdings Limited.[40] Direct ties between these two teams also saw them share the Yuexiushan Stadium. In their first meeting in the first round of the 1995 Chinese FA Cup, Matsunichi beat Guangzhou FC 4–3 on aggregate.[41] For a brief period during the 1998 season, both teams were in the top tier with Matsunichi finishing higher than Guangzhou FC; however, the rivalry would reach its peak and subsequent conclusion during the 2000 season with both clubs in the second tier fighting relegation. On 15 July 2000, Guangzhou FC won 3–1 against Matsunichi which inevitability helped lead to Matsunichi's relegation, causing Matsunichi to disband at the end of the season.[42][43]

When Guangzhou R&F moved to the city of Guangzhou, a local derby, often referred to as the Canton derby, was born.[44] The first Canton derby was at Yuexiushan Stadium on 16 March 2012 as Guangzhou Evergrande lost 2–0 against Guangzhou R&F.[45] Relations between the two club owners remain cordial off the pitch and club owners Xu Jiayin and Zhang Li were seen enjoying a meal together instead of watching the second derby in 2012 which Guangzhou R&F also won.[46][47]

Current squadEdit

As of 16 July 2018 [48]

First team squadEdit

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

No. Position Player
2   MF Liao Lisheng
3   DF Mei Fang
4   MF Xu Xin
5   DF Zhang Linpeng
6   DF Feng Xiaoting (Vice captain)
7   FW Alan
9   MF Paulinho (on loan from Barcelona)
10   MF Zheng Zhi (Captain)
11   MF Ricardo Goulart
15   MF Zhang Wenzhao
16   MF Huang Bowen
17   FW Yang Liyu
18   DF Guo Jing
19   GK Zeng Cheng
20   MF Yu Hanchao
21   DF Zhang Chenglin
No. Position Player
22   MF Tang Shi
23   DF Deng Hanwen
24   MF Talisca (on loan from Benfica)
25   DF Zou Zheng
27   MF Zheng Long
29   FW Gao Lin (Vice captain)
30   DF Hu Ruibao
32   GK Liu Dianzuo
33   MF Zhong Yihao
34   MF Feng Boxuan
35   DF Li Xuepeng
36   MF Deng Yubiao
40   GK Liu Shibo
51   DF Wang Shilong
58   FW Wang Jinze

Reserve squadEdit

As of 1 March 2018

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

No. Position Player
8   MF Nemanja Gudelj
26   MF Wang Junhui
28   DF Kim Young-gwon
31   DF Wu Yuduo
39   MF Tan Kaiyuan
41   DF Situ Hualong
42   DF Wen Jiabao
43   MF Ke Yuan
44   DF Chen Quanjiang
45   MF Li Ming
46   DF Zhou Chenye
47   DF Chen Zepeng
48   MF He Xin
49   DF Wang Wenxuan
50   MF Fan Hengbo
51   DF Wang Shilong
52   MF Zhao Shizhuo
53   FW Zhu Fu
54   DF Lü Zheng
55   DF Rao Weiquan
56   MF Li Zhongyi
57   MF Xie Zifeng
59   FW Elfirat Iminjan
No. Position Player
60   GK Mai Gaoling
61   GK Liu Weiguo
62   DF Gong Liangxuan
63   MF Ju Feng
64   MF Zhang Junye
65   MF Zhao Shijie
66   MF Lin Zefeng
67   MF Peng Junxian
68   FW Yang Chaosheng
  MF Wang Rui
  DF Wen Haojun
  MF Irxat Tuhtahun
  GK Zhang Jianzhi
  MF Wu Xiang
  DF Tan Jiajie
  DF Hu Bowen
  MF Cai Mingmin
  MF Shen Qi'an
  MF Hu Yangyang
  FW Gan Tiancheng
  MF Shewket Yalqun
  MF Zheng Jie

On loanEdit

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

No. Position Player
12   DF Wang Shangyuan (at Henan Jianye until 31 December 2018)
14   DF Rong Hao (at Shanghai Greenland Shenhua until 30 June 2018)
  DF Yang Zhaohui (at Busan FC until 31 December 2018)
  DF Guan Haojin (at Yinchuan Helanshan until 31 December 2018)
  MF Li Geng (at Dalian Transcendence until 31 December 2018)
No. Position Player
  MF Zhang Jiaqi (at Guangzhou R&F until 31 December 2018)
  MF Chen Zijie (at Yinchuan Helanshan until 31 December 2018)
  FW Ye Guochen (at Yinchuan Helanshan until 31 December 2018)
  FW Wang Jingbin (at Shanghai Shenxin until 31 December 2018)

Club officialsEdit

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Head coach   Fabio Cannavaro
Assistant coaches   Paolo Cannavaro
  Antonio Rogazzo
  Francesco (Ciccio) Troise
  Fu Bo
Goalkeeping coach   Patrizio Franco Cotugno
Fitness coach   Jordi Garcia
Medical adviser   Enrico Castellacci
Team doctor / Physiotherapist   Silvano Cotti
Scout   Vincenzo Bevo
Reserve team head coach   Chang Weiwei
Reserve team assistant coach   Li Kun
  Liu Zhiyu
Reserve team goalkeeping coach   Wang Weiman
Reserve team Physiotherapist   Wan Bingfeng
Youth department director / U-19 team coach   Stefan Böger

Managerial historyEdit

Club honoursEdit

All-time honours list including semi-professional period.[49][50]

DomesticEdit

LeaguesEdit

Winners (7): 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Winners (5): 1956, 1958, 1981, 2007, 2010

CupsEdit

Winners (2): 2012, 2016
Winners (4): 2012, 2016, 2017, 2018

InternationalEdit

Winners (2): 2013, 2015
Fourth place (2): 2013, 2015[51]

ResultsEdit

All-time league rankingsEdit

As of 15 May 2018[52][53]
Year Div Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Pos. FA Cup Super Cup League Cup AFC Other Att./G Stadium
1955 1 10 3 1 6 12 33 −21 7 8 Yuexiushan Stadium
1956 2 8 5 3 0 19 4 +15 14 1 1 2 DNQ
1957 2 11 8 3 5 NH
1958 2 15 14 3 1 NH
1961 1 6 2 2 2 8 8 0 3 3 8 3 NH
1962 1 16 2 7 7 11 21 −10 6 3 25 NH
1963 1 15 1 7 7 7 19 −12 3 3 20 NH
1964 2 7 NH
1965 2 19 6 NH
1978 Youth 20 NH
1979 Youth 3 1 NH
1980 3 8 3 4 1 13 4 9 10 2 NH
1981 2 30 24 6 48 1 NH
1982 1 30 9 21 23 53 −30 18 15 NH
1983 2 15 11 4 22 2 2 NH
1984 2 10 3 1 R1
1985 1 15 8 7 +6 17 7 3 DNQ
1986 1 14 6 4 4 14 13 +1 16 7 DNE DNQ
1987 1 14 5 1 8 14 19 −5 16 7 NH DNQ
1988 1 25 10 10 5 32 19 +13 43 7 NH DNQ
1989 1 14 1 5 8 8 22 −14 10 8 NH DNQ
1990 2 22 8 11 3 27 15 +13 35 2 R1 DNQ
1991 1 14 4 7 3 16 13 +3 16 4 RU DNQ
1992 1 14 8 2 4 19 15 +4 18 2 R1 DNQ
1993 1 12 5 0/4 3 15 16 −1 4 3 8 NH DNQ
1994 1 22 11 5 6 36 27 +9 27 2 NH DNQ 10,545
1995 1 22 7 7 8 28 27 +1 28 5 R1 DNQ DNQ 18,818
1996 1 22 7 8 7 26 25 +1 29 7 R16 DNQ DNQ 13,091
1997 1 22 5 10 7 14 20 −6 25 8 R16 DNQ DNQ 15,364
1998 1 26 4 8 14 25 41 −16 20 14 R1 DNQ DNQ 5,385 Ying Tung Stadium / Provincial People's Stadium
1999 2 22 6 8 8 26 30 −4 26 8 R16 DNQ DNQ Tianhe Stadium
2000 2 22 6 7 9 27 27 0 25 10 R1 DNQ DNQ Provincial People's Stadium
2001 2 22 11 7 4 31 16 +15 40 4 R1 DNQ DNQ 15,273 Yuexiushan Stadium
2002 2 22 4 9 9 23 30 −7 21 11 R1 DNQ DNQ 7,227
2003 2 26 13 9 4 40 20 +20 48 3 R1 DNQ DNQ 10,091
2004 2 32 12 16 4 47 29 +18 52 4 R1 NH DNQ DNQ 13,647
2005 2 26 15 7 4 50 22 +28 52 4 R16 NH DNQ DNQ 14,850 Yuexiushan Stadium / Tianhe Stadium
2006 2 24 15 3 6 45 25 +20 48 3 R16 NH NH DNQ 17,167 Yuexiushan Stadium
2007 2 24 19 4 1 65 15 +50 61 1 NH NH NH DNQ 22,500
2008 1 30 10 10 10 41 42 −1 40 7 NH NH NH DNQ 19,624
2009 1 30 9 10 11 38 38 0 37 9 5 NH NH NH DNQ 20,057 Yuexiushan Stadium / Guangzhou University City Stadium
2010 2 24 17 6 1 61 21 +40 57 1 NH NH NH DNQ 9,083 Zengcheng Stadium / Century Lotus Stadium / Yuexiushan Stadium
2011 1 30 20 8 2 67 23 +44 68 1 R2 NH NH DNQ 45,666 Tianhe Stadium
2012 1 30 17 7 6 51 30 +21 58 1 W W NH QF 37,250
2013 1 30 24 5 1 78 18 +60 77 1 RU RU NH W CWC 4 40,428
2014 1 30 22 4 4 76 28 +48 70 1 R16 RU NH QF 42,288
2015 1 30 19 10 1 71 28 +43 67 1 R32 RU NH W CWC 4 45,809
2016 1 30 19 7 4 62 19 +43 64 1 W W NH Group 44,882
2017 1 30 20 4 6 69 42 +27 64 1 SF W NH QF 45,589
2018 1 R16 W NH R16
  • No league games in 1959, 1966–72, 1975, 1976; Guangzhou did not enter the league in 1960, 1973, 1974 and 1977.
  • ^1 In group stage. ^2 No promotion. ^3 In final group stage. ^4 Promoted via FA Cup. ^ 5 Relegated for match-fixing scandal.

Key

International resultsEdit

Records and statisticsEdit

Past and present internationalsEdit

Names in bold indicate players who had international appearances for their countries while playing for Guangzhou.[54]

Notes and referencesEdit

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  6. ^ http://www.the-afc.com/en/component/jdownloads/finish/64/52.html
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  22. ^ Chengdu Blades demoted at Fifa.com. 23 February 2010. Retrieved 2013-07-07
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  26. ^ 恒大引援再放超级卫星 350万美元天价签巴西猎豹 at Sports.sina.com.cn. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2013-07-10(in Chinese)
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External linksEdit

Achievements
Preceded by
Ulsan Hyundai
 
Champions of Asia
2013
Succeeded by
Western Sydney Wanderers
 
Preceded by
Western Sydney Wanderers
 
Champions of Asia
2015
Succeeded by
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
 
Preceded by
Shandong Luneng Taishan
Champions of China
2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014 · 2015 · 2016 · 2017
Succeeded by
Incumbent