Zhang Honggen (Chinese: 張宏根; November 27, 1935 – November 25, 2003) was a Chinese international football player and coach. As a player, he was one of the first footballers to play for the People's Republic of China at the international level, and as a coach, he was among the first managers to manage a fully professional Chinese football club, with his stint at Dalian Wanda.
|Full name||Zhang Honggen|
|Date of birth||27 November 1935|
|Place of birth||Shanghai, China|
|Date of death||25 November 2003(aged 67)|
|Place of death||Beijing, China|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|Shanghai Youth Football Team|
|1970–1973||Beijing Youth Team|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 7, 2010|
Zhang Honggen began his football career playing for the South China team until he turned eighteen when he was selected by the Chinese Head coach Li Fenglou to take part in China's first ever qualification for the 1958 FIFA World Cup. Despite not qualifying he was recognised as being China's best ever player. As a vital member of the Chinese team and was praised for being technically sophisticated and having delicate footwork with a clear-head who was also good at both defensive and offensive play. This saw him remain a vital member of the team for several years even though China did not enter any further competitions and by 1965 Zhang Honggen retired in due to an injury.
Despite being only being thirty years old when he retired, Zhang Honggen would eventually move to management with Beijing Youth Team in 1970. After several seasons he replaced Nian Weisi in 1977 as manager of the Chinese football team, however his reign was uneventful and he left after only a year. He would return twice to this position in 1979 and 1982 to help the team for short periods, however these were again uneventful. In the 1985 Summer Universiade he guided China to a third-place position before he moved away from football and took several sport positions that included the National Sports Commission Training Council Advisory Committee, the National Sports Commission and the Sports Services Inc. as well as a position in the Chinese Football Association coaches committee. In 1994, he returned to management with Dalian Wanda and won the league title with them in his first attempt, however after that victory he decided to become the teams advisor. Once more returning to management in 1999 with second tier club Chengdu Blades he only served for a short period because he was diagnosed of gastric cancer and had to resign, in 2003 he would later die of gastric pain.
- "中国足球教父张宏根：甲A第一帅 祥福左三列门墙_国内足球_体坛周报·体坛网". Cnsoccer.titan24.com. Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "清明節專稿-中國足壇最不該被遺忘的五個名字 – 新浪網 – 足球". Soccer.sina.com.hk. 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- "足坛名宿张宏根昨夜去世 地位最特殊战绩最辉煌_国内足坛-国家队_NIKE新浪竞技风暴_新浪网". Sports.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Zhang Honggen Biography at titan24.com