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Picture of Tianhe Stadium in 1980s surprises Weibo users

The above picture of the Tianhe Sports Centre during the 1980s has been doing the rounds on Weibo over recent days, with the image showing the incredible extent of development in Guangzhou over the past 30 years.

The Pearl River Delta region of China has grown particularly rapidly since Deng Xiaoping implemented his Opening Up reforms in December 1978, with the region’s port towns and cities central to China’s manufacturing economy.

As a result, there has been a population boom in cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan, where migrant worker numbers far exceed the local population and many companies have chosen to set up base.

The following image of the Tianhe Sports Centre region in its current state shows the dramatic changes that have occurred in the intervening time period.

Looking South, the TIanhe Sports Centre is now surrounded by high-rise buildings

Looking South on this occasion, the Tianhe Sports Centre is now surrounded by high-rise buildings

The stadium itself, of course, has become highly important to Chinese football over the past few seasons, with Guangzhou Evergrande relocating from the smaller Yuexiushan stadium to the ground in 2011.

The ground was the scene of Evergrande’s 2013 success in the AFC Champions League, secured with a nail-biting away goals victory over South Korean giants FC Seoul.

Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football's lead editor for news content.   His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.

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