“China flexes her football muscles” – in 1979 – against Celtic, Chelsea, WBA and Middlesbrough

“China flexes her football muscles” and “Chinese aim for place in the World Cup”: two headlines that could’ve been written in 2017 but were in fact in a Celtic match programme from 8th August 1979. That summer a squad of 17 Chinese players travelled to Europe for a long forgotten two month tour of France, […]

China’s historic 1977 tour to the USA remembered

In October 1977, Jimmy Carter was in the White House, the New York Yankees were on their way to another World Series win and the Chinese national team was in America to play three friendlies against the USA, and on their ground-breaking first tour to the capitalist West, the Chinese would also play five games in […]

China Cup Review: Shootout win over Croatia ends tournament on a high, but there’s not much for fringe players to celebrate

The inaugural China Cup came to an end on Sunday when Chile defeated Iceland 1-0 in the final. However, the trophy will mean little to a nation that has just won consecutive Copa Americas and the main purpose of the tournament was player development. China lost their semi-final match 2-0 to Iceland, before securing third […]

Wilson: World Cup expansion doesn’t help China – or anyone else

I genuinely hate to appear to stand on the side of the European football establishment (I’ll explain that one further down, there’s a twist!), but a World Cup expanded to 48 teams is overkill and risks devaluing the tournament, making it less desirable to qualify for in the first place.

China Cup Preview: Development more important than results as Chile, Croatia and Iceland come to Guangxi

Tuesday sees the kick-off of the first ever China Cup when the Chinese national team hosts Iceland in Guangxi. Despite speculation to the contrary, the four team tournament, also featuring Croatia and Chile, is being used for developmental purposes as each team prepares to field significantly weakened sides. Here we take a look at what the competition actually is, what to expect from China’s opponents and many of the new face which have made Marcello Lippi’s squad.