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China National Team

The Multicultural Chinese National Team

According to the Chinese government, there are 56 recognized ethnicities in China.  In the past, majority of the players in the Chinese national team were of the dominant Han ethnicity which comprise 92% of China’s population.  However, lately there has been an increasing amount of players from different Chinese ethnicities making it into the squad – here’s a rundown of who they are, past and present.

Zhao Junzhe/肇俊哲

Midfielder/Liaoning F.C.



Zhao played for the Chinese National Team on 63 occasions and scored two goals.  He played a vital role in China’s Asian Cup 2004 campaign where they finished runners-up.  He is captain for Liaoning F.C., a football team that he has played for since his youth.

Mirahmatjan Muzaffar/木热合买提江·莫扎帕

Defensive Midfielder/Shandong Luneng


Muzaffar, more commonly known as Maitijiang in the Chinese media, is one of China’s most exciting prospects at the moment.  Born into a football family, he was the first Uyghur player to play in the Chinese Super League. His strong performance for Henan Construction earned him the captain’s armband in the Chinese Olympic squad.

He recently scored his first Asian Champions League goal for Shandong Luneng against Arema Indonesia.  Maitijiang has been consistently linked with Ajax Amsterdam and its rumoured the Dutch club are  to offer a trial,  something which they are said to be in dispute with Shandong over.

Bari Mamatil/巴力·買買提依力

Striker/Hangzhou Greentown


Bari Mamatil, or commonly known as Bali in the Chinese media, is another Uyghur player and he’s making his name at Hangzhou Greentown.  Bali was the first Uyghur player to score in the AFC Champions League (Hangzhou Greentown vs. Nagoya Grampus).  His work ethic has been constantly praised by the Chinese media.  He was part of the Chinese Olympic Team that played a friendly against the South Korea Olympic team in Seoul.

Jin Jingdao/金敬道

Midfielder/Yanbian F.C.


Jin is another top player from Yanbian FC, a team playing in China’s second level league and located near the North Korean border in Jilin province.  He recently made his debut for China in a friendly again Costa Rica . He also played for the U-20 team where he scored four goals in eight games.

Piao Cheng/朴成

Midfielder/Beijing Guoan


Born in Yanbian, Korean-Chinese Piao Cheng is one of the star players of Yanbian F.C.  His performances have caught the eye of several South Korean scouts and he was briefly linked with South Korean team Suwon Bluewings.  Piao Cheng is also considered as one of the star players for the Chinese Olympic Team.  He is bilingual, fluent in Chinese and Korean. His fluency in Korean has impressed the South Korean media during a post-game interview after the Chinese Olympic Team vs. South Korean Team friendly in Seoul.

Eddy Francois/艾迪·弗朗西斯

Defender/Shanghai East Asia

Tanzanian-Chinese mix

Eddy Francois, or commonly known as Aidi, is a defender born to a Tasmanian father and a Shanghainese mother.  By playing for 20 minutes for the China U-14 team in his only Chinese national appearance so far, Aidi was the first mixed-blood player to feature for the national team.  The young defender has been following Yu Genwei since the start of his career. Aidi does not know French or English; he is only fluent in Mandarin.

Do you know other players that should be included in the list? Please let us know by commenting below!

Ever since witnessing Yang Chen’s near goal opportunity in the game of China vs. Turkey in World Cup 2002 from his bed at 3am, Smari has developed an avid interest in following the Chinese national team. He had seen how the Chinese team was worshiped as gods during the World Cup 2002 and Asian Cup 2004, and how they are treated like shit since the failure to qualify for the World Cup 2006. Smari joined Wild East Football as a contributor because he realized there is a need for the world to know about Chinese football. There is an almost bare minimum amount of English language forums or websites that strictly talk about Chinese football, the Chinese Super League, the Chinese national team, etc. The world needs to know that Chinese football is not about Shaolin football, corruption, diving, and cheating; we are about playing with our heart to bring smiles to our already embarrassed fans. Smari hopes he would be able to witness the improvement of Chinese football and spend all his life savings to watch Guojiadui’s second World Cup appearance at whatever venue, even a warzone. Apart from writing/translating Chinese football news, Smari loves playing mahjang, imitating how Samri Nasri dribbles in the Emirates pitch, watching how Adam Johnson terrorizes his rivals, learning bar tending to make up his reason for consistent drunkenness, being artistically weird by shooting abstract photos, and defeating boringism in his mundane life. He also loves traveling, and he hopes to have his own apartment that is filled with national team jerseys from every country he visited. Smari often attributes his depression to the current dire state of Chinese football, let’s hope he won’t turn insane soon.



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