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Bundesliga Side Hamburg to play Guangzhou Evergrande and Guangzhou R&F

Hamburger SV have announced plans for two friendlies against the CSL’s pair of Guangdong clubs. It will be a very early pre-season trip for Hamburg but, with the CSL’s extended break for the World Cup, will fit nicely into the schedules of the two Guangzhou sides as they get ready for the CSL to resume.

The Germans will arrive in China in early July and first play ACL champions Guangzhou Evergrande at Tianhe Stadium at 8pm on Saturday 6th July before facing Guangzhou R&F at 7.30pm on the 9thJuly.  They won’t be playing R&F at Yuexiushan though as this friendly will take place at Foshan’s Century Lotus Stadium which was most recently occupied by Guangdong Sunray Cave.

Recently in the headlines for attracting massive investment from Alibaba’s Jack Ma, this games will switch the focus back to the Evergrande side on the pitch and give fans a chance to see recently signed pair Yu Hanchao and Li Xuepeng pull on a red shirt for the first time. City neighbours R&F have already resumed training but are yet to make use of their remaining domestic transfer spot or international space which was made available when Ken Islo’s contract was terminated early.

Despite finishing 16th in the Bundesliga this year, Hamburg have never been relegated from the German top-flight, which they have won six times, and their finest hour came in 1983 when they won the European Cup. Captained by Rafael van de Vaart, their squad also includes Johan Djourou who is currently playing in his second World Cup with Switzerland. With the likes of Manchester United being attracted to play friendlies in China in recent years, Hamburg actually came over back in 1979 to play the Guangdong Province side. Their most recent trip to China was in 2005 for a friendly with Shanghai Shenhua and they also beat the Chinese national side 4-0 in Dubai in 2009.

Donald began following Guangzhou R&F having moved to China in the same year that R&F moved to Guangzhou. The club's first foreign season ticket holder, Donald was able to watch three seasons at Yuexiushan before returning to the UK.

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