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Shanghai soccer star on verge of Scottish League debut

Du Wei, the former Shanghai Shenhua footballer, could be about to make his first-team debut for his new club, Scotland’s Celtic FC, which he joined at the beginning of September. Manager Gordon Strachan was quoted as saying by the Shanghai Daily, that his new Chinese charge was acclimatising well to the physical demands of the fast and furious Scottish game:

“He is actually fading into the background as such and not looking like a foreigner any more, or a big Chinese guy, he is more like a Celtic player all the time and part of the squad so that’s a good sign. He is not far away and that is determined by how well the defenders who are playing keep playing well. What he is doing is more than enough to play in quite a few sides, I’d imagine. But our center halves at this moment in time are doing well.”

China’s domestic football season resumed this weekend after a hiatus for the national games. Du Wei’s old buddies at Shenhua kissed goodbye to any lingering hopes of picking up the China Super League title last night, as rivals Dalian clinched their eighth Chinese championship with a 2-0 victory against Wuhan Huanghelou. A double from Chinese national team striker Xie Hui gave Shenhua a 2-1 win at Shenyang to keep the second-placed side five points clear of Shandong in the battle to be the best of the rest.

Elsewhere in the city, Inter Shanghai drew 1-1 with last season’s champions Shenzhen, whilst Shanghai Zobon, who have been bought by lower-league side Shanghai 9th City, were beaten 3-1 in Pudong by Liaoning FC.

The CSL will have an added competitive element next season as the Chinese Football Association decided earlier this year to re-introduce promotion and relegation between the China Super League and the China League, on a two-up, two-down basis.

 

This post originally appeared on Shanghaiist.

A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.

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