Hao Haidong (simplified Chinese: 郝海东; traditional Chinese: 郝海東; pinyin: Hǎo Hǎidōng; born 9 May 1970) is a Chinese former international footballer. He currently holds the record for being China's top goalscorer.
|Full name||Hao Haidong|
|Date of birth||9 May 1970|
|Place of birth||Qingdao, Shandong, China|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2004||Dalian Shide (caretaker)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
As a player he represented Bayi FC, Dalian Shide and Sheffield United in a career that saw him win six league titles and two Chinese FA Cup. Along with a Chinese Football Association Player of the Year award and three Chinese Jia-A League Top goalscorer awards. Since retiring he had a brief spell at management with Dalian Shide and was the General manager at Hunan Shoking before being Chairman of Tianjin Songjiang, which he left in 2012. Hao married former badminton champion Ye Zhaoying in summer 2019.
Hao Haidong would make a name for himself by rising through the ranks with Bayi FC. On 31 July 1994, Hao was involved in an on-the-pitch brawl with Craig Allardyce, son of former English manager Sam Allardyce, in Bayi's league match with Guangdong Hongyuan. This resulted in Hao and Allardyce receiving a half-year ban by the Chinese Football Association and thus Hao was not allowed to play for the Chinese national team in the 1994 Asian Games. While his personal performances with Bayi remained impressive, the team were not genuine title contenders anymore due to the club's struggles with professionalism and a requirement that all their players remain active People's Liberation Army members. With a significantly improved salary and a chance to win more silverware he would transfer to reigning league champions Dalian Shide at the beginning of the 1997 league season for a club record fee of 2,200,000 yuan at the time.
His move to Dalian Shide would be a huge success and he would win the league title and Chinese FA Super Cup as well as also personally winning the Golden Boot and Golden Ball award in the 1997 season. The following season, Hao would continue to add to his medal collection with another league title and more personal awards while barely losing the Asian Club Championship as well. While Hao would be applauded for his football achievements and was even starting to be known as the "Chinese Alan Shearer", he would also show a darker aspect of his game after being fined for attacking a player on 15 March 1998 and was suspended for two games. This would also be followed by a year suspension by the Asian Football Confederation for spitting at a referee during the Asian Cup Winners' Cup. Due to the suspension, Hao would miss out on much of the 1999 league season, however this wouldn't hinder him at all and his prolific goalscoring would continue to see him win several more league titles, the Chinese FA Cup and the Asian Cup Winners' Cup runners-up medal. His stature within Dalian Shide would be so high that when then manager Milorad Kosanović left the club, Hao was immediately brought in as a caretaker to manage the team during the absence of a full-time manager.
In January 2005, Hao was nearing the end of his career and received the chance to play abroad as English Championship side Sheffield United were increasingly interested in gaining access to a potentially lucrative footballing market and saw Hao as a symbolic first step in achieving this. Dalian Shide would release him as a gesture of goodwill following his record of good service towards the club and Sheffield United decided to make the transfer symbolic when Hao joined them for a record low transfer fee at the time by signing for £1 in 2005. In January 2005, Hao joined Sheffield United where he suffered from injuries and worked mainly as a coach in Sheffield's academy. His only appearance came as a substitute in the 2005–06 FA Cup on 7 January 2006 in a 2–1 loss against Colchester United. With no further opportunities, Hao retired and returned to China.
Hao enjoyed a stellar international career by playing at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and is the record top goalscorer with 41 goals for the Chinese national team. Hao is considered to be the best striker from China in the past two decades.
By his ex-wife Chen Yi Hao has a son, Runze Hao (郝润泽), who is also a professional football player, and a daughter named Hao Runhan (郝润涵). Hao married former badminton champion Ye Zhaoying in summer 2019.
On 4 June 2020, on the 31st anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Hao and Ye Zhaoying publicly denounced the Chinese Communist Party, including for its mishandling of professional sports, Tibet, Hong Kong, and the coronavirus pandemic. "Football in China is a reflection of the country ... it’s not the players that make it worse, it’s the bureaucrats that damage the whole business by ignoring the rules", they said. They advocated the formation of a "New Federal State of China", a proposal supported by Chinese dissident Miles Kwok and American political strategist Steve Bannon. In response, the Chinese Communist Party first issued statements harshly criticizing Hao and Ye, and then altered course to expunge all references to them from the Chinese-accessible internet -- the Weibo accounts of Hao and Ye were deleted, and their online profiles on major portals in China – Sina Sports and Tencent Sport – were expunged. Six days later, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Hao and Ye reiterated their criticism of one-party rule in China and restated their willingness to advocate for human rights despite potential political and personal costs: "There are many people who think the same way as we do but they don't dare to speak up inside the country -- and they are becoming less and less willing to speak."
- Chinese Jia-A League: 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002
- Chinese FA Cup: 2001
- Chinese Super Cup: 1996, 2000, 2002
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