China National Football Team
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China National Football Team

China PR
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Lóng zh? duì
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
EAFF (East Asia)
Head coachLi Tie
CaptainZheng Zhi
Most capsWeifeng Li (112)
Top scorerHaidong Hao (41)
Home stadiumVarious
FIFA ranking
Current 76 Decrease 1 (19 December 2019)[2]
Highest37 (December 1998)
Lowest109 (March 2013)
Elo ranking
Current 91 Decrease 14 (25 November 2019)[3]
Highest23 (May 1934)
Lowest92 (October 1992)
First international
 Philippines 2-1 China 
(Manila, Philippines; 4 February 1913)[4]
Biggest win
 China PR 19-0 Guam 
(Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; 26 January 2000)
Biggest defeat
 Brazil 8-0 China PR 
(Recife, Brazil; 10 September 2012)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2002)
Best resultGroup stage (2002)
Asian Cup
Appearances12 (first in 1976)
Best resultRunners-up (1984, 2004)

The China PR national football team (Chinese: ?) represents the People's Republic of China in international football, and is governed by the Chinese Football Association. The team is colloquially referred to as "Team China" (Chinese: ), the "National Team" (Chinese: ) or "Guózú" (Chinese: , short for Chinese: ; pinyin: Guóji? Zúqiú Duì; literally: 'national football team').[5]

The Chinese Football Association was founded in 1924 by the Republic of China and joined FIFA in 1931. Following the Chinese Civil War, the Football Association was reformed by the newly founded People's Republic of China. They remained affiliated with FIFA until 1958, when they withdrew, but they rejoined the organisation in 1979.

China has won the EAFF East Asian Cup twice in 2005 and 2010 and have been runners-up at the AFC Asian Cup twice in 1984 and 2004. Although China failed to score a goal in their FIFA World Cup debut appearance during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, losing all their matches, qualifying for the tournament has been considered the greatest accomplishment in the country's football history.

Although modern football lacks a distinguished history in China, there were an estimated 250 million viewers for the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final, which China lost 3-1 to arch-rivals Japan, the largest single-event sports audience in the country's history at that time.[6] China will host the Asian Cup once again in 2023.


Republic of China national football team (1913-1949)

Chinese Olympic football team in 1936

China's first ever international representative match was arranged by Elwood Brown, president of the Philippine Athletic Association who proposed the creation of the Far Eastern Championship Games, a multi-sport event considered to be a precursor to the Asian Games.[7] He invited China to participate in the inaugural 1913 Far Eastern Championship Games held in the Philippines, which included association football within the schedule. To represent them it was decided that the winner of the football at the Chinese National Games in 1910 should have the honour to represent the country, where it was won by South China Football Club.[8] The clubs's founder and coach Mok Hing (Chinese ) would become China's first coach and on 4 February 1913 in a single one-off tournament game held in the Manila he led China to a 2-1 defeat against the Philippines national football team.[9]

The political unrest of the Xinhai Revolution that mired China's participation in the first tournament, especially in renaming the team as Republic of China national football team, did not stop Shanghai being awarded the 1915 Far Eastern Championship Games. Once again South China Football Club, now known as South China Athletic Association won the right to represent the nation. This time in a two legged play-off against the Philippines, China won the first game 1-0 and then drew the second 0-0 to win their first ever tournament.[10] With the games being the first and only regional football tournament for national teams outside Britain, China looked to establish themselves as a regional powerhouse by winning a total of nine championships.[11]

The Chinese Football Association was founded in 1924 and then was first affiliated with FIFA in 1931.[12] With these foundations in place China looked to establish themselves within the international arena and along with the Japanese national football team they were the first Asians to participate in the Football at the Summer Olympics when they competed within the Football at the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Germany. At the tournament China were knocked out within their first game at the Round of sixteen when they were beaten by Great Britain Olympic football team 2-0 on 6 August 1936.[13]

On 7 July 1937 the Second Sino-Japanese War officially erupted, which saw the relations between China and Japan completely eroded especially once it was announced that Japan would hold the 1938 Far Eastern Championship Games.[14] The tournament would be officially cancelled while Japan held their own tournament called the 2600th Anniversary of the Japanese Empire, which included the Japanese puppet states Manchukuo and the collaborationist National Reorganised Government of China based in occupied Nanjing. But none of the top Chinese players competed in the Japanese Empire anniversary games.[15] None of the games during the Second Sino-Japanese War are officially recognized and once the war ended on 9 September 1945 China looked to the Olympics once again for international recognition. On 2 August 1948 China competed in the Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics where they were once again knocked out in the last sixteen, this time by Turkey national football team in a 4-0 defeat.[16] When the players returned they found the country in the midst of the Chinese Civil War. When it ended, the team had been split into two, one called the Chinese national football team and the other called Republic of China national football team (later renamed Chinese Taipei national football team).


China, under the newly instated People's Republic of China reformed the Chinese Football Association before having FIFA acknowledge their 1931 membership on 14 June 1952.[17]Finland, who were one of the first nations to hold diplomatic relations with China's new government, invited the country to take part in the 1952 Summer Olympics. Li Fenglou would become the country's first permanent manager to lead them in the tournament, however unfortunately the Chinese delegation was delayed and they missed the entire competition, nevertheless the Finland national football team would still greet Li and the Chinese team with a friendly game on 4 August 1952 making it People's Republic of China's official first game, which ended in a 4-0 defeat.[18][19] In preparation for entering their first FIFA competition, China sent a young squad to train in Hungary in 1954.[20] However, when they entered the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification process China were knocked out by Indonesia.[21]

On 7 June 1958, China stopped participating within any FIFA recognised football events when FIFA officially started to recognise the Republic of China as a different country.[22] This sparked a diplomatic argument that had already seen China withdraw from the 1956 Summer Olympics for the same reasons.[23] For years China would only play in friendlies with nations such as Albania, Burma, Cambodia, Guinea, Hungary, Mongolia, North Korea, North Vietnam, Pakistan, Sudan, the Soviet Union, and the United Arab Republic who recognized People's Republic of China as the sole heir to the China name.[21] On 25 October 1971 the United Nations would recognise the country as the sole heir to the China name in their General Assembly Resolution 2758 act.[24] In 1973 the team, which had been using the name Republic of China would rename themselves as Chinese Taipei.[25] These acts would see China rejoin the international sporting community, first by becoming a member of the Asian Football Confederation in 1974 and by rejoining FIFA again in 1979.[26]

1980-2004: Asia's major football power

With the end of the Cultural Revolution and international recognition of their sovereignty finally acknowledged, Chinese sport would emerge from a traumatic period that greatly affected them socially and politically.[27][28] The 1974 Asian Games reintroduced the Chinese football team back into international football while the 1976 AFC Asian Cup saw them have a relatively successful campaign where they came third.[29] The Chinese national league restarted after being greatly affected by the political turmoil.[30] Also the introduction of televisions in Chinese households reached 20 million sets by 1982, and with an audience of 350 million, it saw association football regain its popularity, rival and eventually takes over badminton and table tennis as the country's main spectator sport.[31][32]

Chinese players in a match against Saudi Arabia at the 1984 AFC Asian Cup

In 1980, China participated in the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for a berth in the 1982 World Cup, but they lost a play-off game against New Zealand.[33] During the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 1986 World Cup, China faced Hong Kong at home in the final match of the first qualifying round on 19 May 1985 where China only needed a draw to advance. However, Hong Kong produced a 2-1 upset win which resulted in riots inside and outside the stadium in Beijing.[34] During the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 1990 World Cup, China again reached the final round of qualifying. They just missed out on qualifying as they conceded two goals in the final three minutes against Qatar in their final group match.[35] During the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup - when they were led by their first ever foreign manager, Klaus Schlapner - China failed to reach the final round of qualifying, coming second behind Iraq.[36] China was on the verge of making it through the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup, but lost crucial matches at home against Qatar and Iran.

In 1987, the first Chinese footballers moved abroad when future national team player Xie Yuxin joined FC Zwolle (Netherlands) and ex-national teamer Gu Guangming joined SV Darmstadt 98 (Germany). In 1988, national team captain Jia Xiuquan and striker Liu Haiguang both joined FK Partizan (Yugoslavia).[37][38]

On 26 January 2000, China beat Guam 19-0 during the 2000 Asian Cup qualification which was the world record for the largest victory margin in an international football match at the time; however, the record was broken by Kuwait nineteen days later.

On 7 October 2001, China, under the direction of manager Bora Milutinovi?, advanced to the 2002 FIFA World Cup which was the first time China had ever qualified for the FIFA World Cup. However, they failed to score a single goal at the tournament, lost all three group matches, and were subsequently eliminated in the group stage. Nonetheless, qualifying to the World Cup was deemed as China's greatest success ever in international stage.

After its World Cup debut, China participated in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup as host of the competition. China produced a magnificent performance, beating fellow Asian powerhouses Iraq and Iran, but ultimately fell to Japan in a controversial final match 1-3, thus missed the chance for the second time. The match's outcome sparked anger among Chinese supporters, who rioted in response to bad refereeing.[39]

2004-2009: stagnation and scandals

In November 2004, China failed to advance through the preliminary qualification stage for the 2006 World Cup, losing out to Kuwait on goal difference, despite China's seven goals against Hong Kong in the last qualifying match. Manager Arie Haan was later replaced by Zhu Guanghu after the qualification process.

After winning the 2005 East Asian Football Championship following a 2-0 win against North Korea,[40] they started qualification for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. During this time, the team became the subject of immense criticism and national embarrassment in the media when they had managed to score only one goal, Shao Jiayi's penalty kick during injury time, against Singapore at home and only managed a draw with Singapore in the away game. During preparations for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the team spent the weeks leading up to the tournament on a tour of the United States. While the 4-1 loss to the United States was not unexpected,[41] a 1-0 loss to Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake which finished bottom of the league in the 2007 season caused serious concern.[42][43]

During the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the team played three group matches, winning against Malaysia, drawing with Iran after leading 2-1, and losing 3-0 to Uzbekistan. After high expectations, China's performance at the tournament drew immense criticism on online communities which condemned the manager, the players, and even the Chinese Football Association. Zhu was later replaced as manager by Vladimir Petrovi? after the poor performances.[44] Some commented that China's reliance on foreign managers for the past decade had been an indicator of its poor domestic manager development.[45]

In June 2008, China failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, losing against Qatar and Iraq at home. After the 2008 Summer Olympics, Petrovi? was sacked as the manager and Yin Tiesheng was announced as the team's caretaker.

Gao Hongbo era

In April 2009, China appointed the young Gao Hongbo as the new manager, replacing Yin Tiesheng. His arrival saw China opt for a new strategy, turning towards ground passing tactics and adopting the 4-2-3-1 formation. It was noted that Chinese footballers had relied too heavily on the long ball tactic for almost a decade. Wei Di, the chief of the Chinese Football Association, stressed that, "Anytime, no matter win or loss, they must show their team spirit and courage. I hope, after one year's effort, the national team can give the public a new image."[46]

Under Gao, China drew its first game against Germany 1-1 in May 2009. Afterwards, China were able to gain 13 points in the during the qualification process for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. This led to a revival in interest amongst some Chinese football fans as China had also won 1-0 against France in June 2010 as well as holding 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists Paraguay to a 1-1 draw in September 2010. This led to some supporters even thinking that reaching the semifinals of the 2011 AFC Asian Cup was possible; however, China were knocked out in the group stages during the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. This led to some discontent amongst Chinese fans and it seemed that this was the reason that eventually led to the sacking of Gao as manager by the Chinese Football Association. Although Gao's winning percentage (65%) was the highest for a Chinese manager since Nian Weisi (67.86%) as well as the team having not lost since the end of the 2011 AFC Asians Cup, this was still not enough to convince the Chinese Football Association of replacing Gao. In August 2011, he was formally sacked as manager and replaced by José Antonio Camacho, less than a month before the qualification process for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

But corruption still remained a major problem in Chinese football and in 2010, Wei admitted that, "Chinese football has degraded to an intolerable level. It has hurt the feelings of fans and Chinese people at large." He also added that he was confident in being able to aid Chinese men's and women's football return to the leading status in Asia and world respectively in the future. Wei pointed out six major problems which had caused the "huge slump" of Chinese football in the past few years while he dissected the dwindling pool of youth player selection as being a big problem along with unhealthy professional leagues affected by gambling and match-fixing scandals.[46][47]

Appointment of José Antonio Camacho

On 13 August 2011, José Antonio Camacho was appointed as the new manager of the team, signing a three-year deal for a reported annual salary of $8 million.[48] Wei Di, the chief of the Chinese Football Association, explained the decision as being part of a long-term plan to help the country catch up with rivals Japan and South Korea. He noted that, "Compared with our neighbours Japan and South Korea, Chinese football is lagging far behind, we need to work with a long-term view and start to catch up with a pragmatic approach. A lot of our fans expect China to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. They are afraid that changing the coach at the last moment may cause bad effect to the team's qualifying prospect. I can totally understand that. But we do not have any time to waste."[49]

Yu Hongchen, the vice-president of the Chinese Football Administrative Centre, also stated, "The qualifying stage of 2014 World Cup is just a temporary task for him. Even if the task is failed, Camacho will not lose the job. When we started to find a new coach for the national team, we mainly focus on European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. First of all, they have advanced football concepts, and secondly they have a productive youth training system, which we can learn from. We hope he can help us to find a suitable style."[49]

However, China failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, after only finishing third place in the third round of qualifying during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, with three wins and three losses out of six games played.

In June 2012, during a friendly match against Spain, many football experts and pundits alike expected Spain to easily steamroll China. However, many critics were stunned to find China and Spain still deadlocked 0-0 until the 84th minute when a goal from David Silva won the match 1-0 for Spain. Even though they lost, this performance was viewed highly in the media. However, disappointment would soon strike again two months later when China faced Sweden in a friendly only to lose 1-0 with the lone goal coming minutes after the second half. Several months later, Camacho managed a youthful team to an 8-0 loss against Brazil on 10 September 2012 which would go on record as China's worst ever international defeat in the team's history. This massive loss also succumbed China to their worst ever FIFA ranking (109th).[50] It was the worst defeat for China since their loss to the United States in 1992.

After a disappointing qualification process for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Camacho led China during their qualification process for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup where in the first group match China lost 2-1 to Saudi Arabia.[51] Camacho then managed China on 15 June 2013 against Thailand in a shocking 5-1 loss to a team ranked 142 and 47 places below China. This embarrassing loss then saw Camacho subsequently sacked a week as manager after immense pressure from the media with Fu Bo assigned as the caretaker.

Alain Perrin era

After Alain Perrin was announced as the new manager in March 2014, China continued through the qualification process for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, qualifying for the tournament by being the best third-placed team. After undergoing a ten match unbeaten streak before the tournament, China won their first group match of the tournament 1-0 against Saudi Arabia through a deflected free kick from Yu Hai. They won their second group match 2-1 against Uzbekistan and subsequently qualified for the knockout stage as the group winner. This was the first time in eleven years that China were not eliminated during the group stage. China won 2-1 against North Korea in their final group match; however, the team was knocked out by in a 2-0 loss against Australia during the quarterfinals.

Gao Hongbo returns

After Perrin was sacked for the team's poor performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers,[52] former coach Gao Hongbo returned to the role on 3 February 2016. In his first two matches, Gao secured the team's passage to the final Asian qualifying round by beating the Maldives and Qatar to overtake Hong Kong to second. This also secured China PR's qualification for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

China started their World Cup hunt by a 2-3 defeat to South Korea, which China almost made a comeback after being led three goals, which was praised by press and medias for its valiant efforts;[53] and China's impressive performance continued with a 0-0 draw to AFC's highest ranked team Iran at home,[54] leading its supporters to be enthusiastic over China's position for the World Cup in Russia. However, what followed later was a complete shock, as China lost 0-1 at home to Syria and 0-2 away to Uzbekistan. After losing to Uzbekistan 0-2 in October 2016, Gao Hongbo resigned. His team had been winless in the first four matches of the final qualifying stage for the World Cup, including an embarrassing home loss to Syria which was widely criticised by fans.[55]

Marcello Lippi era

Chinese players after win against Thailand at 2019 AFC Asian Cup Round of 16

On 22 October 2016, Marcello Lippi was appointed manager of the team ahead for the last remaining matches.[56][57][58] His first task was up against Qatar, where China drew 0-0 at home to the Middle Eastern opponent, as the fans, having lost enthusiasm with what happened at four beginning matches, started to question over the team's ability. Lippi decided to revamp the team and China's performances improved greatly. China defeated South Korea 1-0 for the first time in a FIFA-sanctioned tournament, amidst the heat of tensions over South Korea's deployment of THAAD which was seen by China as a threat.[59] The victory against South Korea led China's slim hope alive, only to found themselves lost 0-1 away to Iran. China's chance turned slimmer with a 2-2 draw to Syria, forcing China to win the last remaining matches while hoping Syria unable to do something surprise.[60] China did it well by winning 1-0 over Uzbekistan at home and Qatar 2-1 away; but following Syria's 2-2 draw with Iran, the team was not able to be qualified for the 2018 World Cup under his tenure, but improvements could be seen from China's performances.[61] Lippi signaled in early 2018 that he would depart after the 2019 Asian Cup, previously had stated that China would be his last team on his coaching career.

Lippi led the side during the final stage of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, where China won 2-1 to Kyrgyzstan and 3-0 to Philippines, before losing 2-0 to group leaders South Korea on 16 January.[62] China then beat Thailand 2-1 to earn a place in the quarter-finals, where the Chinese team was knocked out by Iran after a 3-0 defeat; Lippi subsequently confirmed his departure as head coach.[63][64]

After the match with Iran, rumors of scandals returning to the national side occurred after Feng Xiaoting, the defender whose his error led Iran to take an early lead, was banished to the reserve team of Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao F.C. in accusation of gambling.[65] Alongside Feng, Shi Ke, Hao Junmin and Wu Xi were also believed to have participated in the gambling scandal, according from Wild East Football, a pro-Chinese football website.[66]

Fabio Cannavaro era

On 15 March 2019, Cannavaro was appointed manager of China, in conjunction with coaching Guangzhou Evergrande.[67][68] Cannavaro stepped down from the post on 28 April 2019 to focus on managing Guangzhou Evergrande.

Marcello Lippi returns and naturalization of players

After Cannavaro's resignation, CFA struggled to find a new coach. Due to lack of option, on 24 May 2019, Marcello Lippi was reappointed the head coach of China.[69] To improve the national team, China had begun a series of naturalization on foreign-based players in order to improve the team's fortunes, with the naturalization of Nico Yennaris, an English-born Cypriot and Chinese player.[70] After the naturalization of Nico Yennaris, China continued its naturalization process, with Tyias Browning, another English-born Chinese player, being naturalized.[71] Subsequently, Elkeson, a Brazilian player with no Chinese ancestry, was naturalized to become the 90th Brazilian who chose to represent another team outside Brazil.[72]

China began its 2022 World Cup qualifying thirst by an easy 5-0 demolition of dark horse Maldives, with Elkeson scoring two goals.[73] It was followed by an easy 7-0 thrashing of Guam at home,[74] but later, China suffered a setback after being held in a goalless draw to the Philippines away.[75] Following a 2-1 defeat to Syria, Lippi resigned for the second time in 2019.[76][77]

Li Tie era

On 2 January 2020, China appointed Li Tie as the new manager.[78]

Team image

Kits and crests

China's home kit is traditionally all red with a white trim while their away kit is traditionally an inverted version of the home kit, fully white with a red trim. During the 1996 AFC Asian Cup, China employed a third kit which was all blue with a white trim and was used against Saudi Arabia during the tournament.[79] The team has also started to use cooling vests in certain warmer climates.[80] After decades of having Adidas producing the team's kits, China's current kit has been produced and manufactured by Nike since 2015.

Kit suppliers

Kit supplier Period Notes
Germany Adidas 1985-2015
United States Nike 2015-present

Kit deals

Kit supplier Period Contract
Value Notes
United States Nike 2015-present
2015-2026 (11 years)[81] $16 million per year[82]


China plays in various stadiums in the country, and doesn't have a permanent home stadium.

Workers' Stadium, opened in 1959, located in the Chaoyang District in north-eastern Beijing, is the most renowned one. Its capacity is 66,161, and it covers a land area of 350,000 square meters. It is used both for international matches and by the China Super League team, the Beijing Guoan, and for the national team. However, China also plays in other stadiums around the country. Tuodong Stadium on the city of Kunming has the capacity of 40,000 and was used in previous 2010 and 2014 World Cup campaigns. Yellow Dragon Sports Center in Hangzhou served as China's main stadium for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification and Shaanxi Province Stadium in Xi'an served as Team Dragon's main stadium for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification.

Previously, Shenyang's Wulihe Stadium was served as the base for China's historic 2002 FIFA World Cup campaign, which saw China qualified, and their only, World Cup appearance.

In smaller tournaments like EAFF E-1 Football Championship, Chongqing Olympic Sports Center in Chongqing, and Wuhan Sports Center Stadium in Wuhan were used as home stadiums for Team Dragon. The recent China Cup also represents Guangxi Sports Center in Nanning as the team's main stadium. Some friendlies are also played in Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou.


Traditionally, China's greatest rival has been Japan.[83] This was exemplified after Japan beat China 3-1 in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final when Chinese fans began to riot near the north gate of the Worker's Stadium.[84] The rioting was said to be provoked by controversial officiating during the tournament and the heightened anti-Japanese sentiment at the time. China's most recent tournament meeting with Japan was at the 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship where Japan won 2-1. China went on to finish as third-place in the tournament, while Japan finished 2nd.

Another well known rivalry is also with fellow neighbour South Korea. China played 27 matches against South Korea between 1978 and 2010, a span of 32 years, without winning a single match (11 draws and 16 losses). The media coined the term "Koreaphobia" to describe this phenomenon, but China finally registered its first win against South Korea on 10 February 2010, winning 3-0 during the 2010 East Asian Football Championship and eventually going on to win the tournament.

A rivalry with Hong Kong has been created due to political tension during 2018 World Cup qualification. With Hong Kong fans booing the Chinese national anthem, which Team Hong Kong share with Team China, 2018 World cup qualifier matches were also very tense with both matches resulting in 0-0 draws. Prior to the rivalry buildup, Hong Kong was not considered as a worthy opponent due to lack of success comparing to China.

Media coverage

Home and away matches are typically shown on CCTV-5, CCTV-5+, GDTV-Sports, STV-Sports, BTV-6, and several other local sports channels in mainland China.

Coaching staff

Position Name Nationality
Head coach Li Tie China China
Technical employee Liu Zhiyu China China
Tong Qiang China China
Team Doctor Wang Shucheng China China
Therapists Jin Ri China China
Gao Jianguo China China
Hang Yanrui China China
Manager Kang Bing China China
Huang Song China China
Huang Weitao China China
Logistics Guo Rui China China
Chen Xi China China
Press Officer Che Hengzhi China China
Doctor Wang Shucheng China China
Administrator Zhang He China China
Technical director Bingyan Guo China China


Current squad

Squad for 2019 EAFF E-1 Football Championship

The following players were called up for the 2019 EAFF E-1 Football Championship to be held in South Korea in December 2019.[86]
Caps and goals are correct as of 18 December 2019, after the match against Hong Kong.
Head coach: China Li Tie

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Liu Dianzuo (1990-06-26) 26 June 1990 (age 29) 3 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
23 1GK Dong Chunyu (1991-03-25) 25 March 1991 (age 28) 0 0 China Wuhan Zall
14 1GK Zou Dehai (1993-02-27) 27 February 1993 (age 26) 0 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan

22 2DF Yu Dabao (1988-04-17) 17 April 1988 (age 31) 60 19 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan
11 2DF Jiang Zhipeng (1989-03-06) 6 March 1989 (age 30) 26 0 China Hebei China Fortune
3 2DF Mei Fang (1989-11-14) 14 November 1989 (age 30) 24 1 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
4 2DF Wang Shenchao (1989-02-08) 8 February 1989 (age 30) 8 0 China Shanghai SIPG
2 2DF Li Ang (1993-09-15) 15 September 1993 (age 26) 5 0 China Jiangsu Suning
15 2DF Ming Tian (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 24) 2 0 China Wuhan Zall
5 2DF Yang Fan (1996-03-28) 28 March 1996 (age 23) 1 0 China Tianjin TEDA

10 3MF Zhang Xizhe (1991-01-23) 23 January 1991 (age 28) 30 6 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan
6 3MF Cai Huikang (1989-10-10) 10 October 1989 (age 30) 22 0 China Shanghai SIPG
17 3MF Jin Jingdao (1992-01-18) 18 January 1992 (age 28) 11 0 China Shandong Luneng Taishan
12 3MF Ji Xiang (1990-03-01) 1 March 1990 (age 29) 10 1 China Jiangsu Suning
13 3MF Mirahmetjan Muzepper (1991-01-14) 14 January 1991 (age 29) 9 0 China Tianjin TEDA
16 3MF Cao Yunding (1989-11-22) 22 November 1989 (age 30) 5 0 China Shanghai Greenland Shenhua
7 3MF Feng Jin (1993-08-14) 14 August 1993 (age 26) 3 0 China Chongqing Dangdai Lifan
20 3MF Li Hang (1989-09-19) 19 September 1989 (age 30) 3 0 China Wuhan Zall
21 3MF Wang Shangyuan (1993-06-02) 2 June 1993 (age 26) 2 0 China Henan Jianye

19 4FW Wei Shihao (1995-04-08) 8 April 1995 (age 24) 14 2 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao
9 4FW Dong Xuesheng (1989-05-22) 22 May 1989 (age 30) 8 1 China Hebei China Fortune
8 4FW Tan Long (1988-04-01) 1 April 1988 (age 31) 6 0 China Changchun Yatai
18 4FW Wang Ziming (1996-08-05) 5 August 1996 (age 23) 2 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up within the last twelve months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Wu Yan (1989-01-07) 7 January 1989 (age 31) 0 0 China Henan Jianye Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
GK Zeng Cheng (1987-01-08) 8 January 1987 (age 33) 42 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
GK Yan Junling (1991-01-28) 28 January 1991 (age 28) 29 0 China Shanghai SIPG v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
GK Wang Dalei (1989-01-10) 10 January 1989 (age 31) 27 0 China Shandong Luneng Taishan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
GK Zhang Lu (1987-09-06) 6 September 1987 (age 32) 0 0 China Tianjin Tianhai v.  Maldives, 10 September 2019

DF Yu Yang (1989-08-06) 6 August 1989 (age 30) 14 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
DF Shi Ke (1993-01-08) 8 January 1993 (age 27) 9 0 China Shanghai SIPG Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
DF Tang Miao (1990-10-16) 16 October 1990 (age 29) 3 0 China Guangzhou R&F Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
DF Jin Yangyang (1993-02-03) 3 February 1993 (age 26) 0 0 China Hebei China Fortune Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
DF Zhao Honglüe (1989-12-04) 4 December 1989 (age 30) 0 0 China Tianjin TEDA Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
DF Zhang Linpeng (1989-05-09) 9 May 1989 (age 30) 79 5 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
DF Zheng Zheng (1989-07-11) 11 July 1989 (age 30) 19 2 China Shandong Luneng Taishan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
DF Liu Yang (1995-06-17) 17 June 1995 (age 24) 11 0 China Shandong Luneng Taishan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
DF Wang Gang (1989-02-17) 17 February 1989 (age 30) 8 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
DF Zhu Chenjie (2000-08-23) 23 August 2000 (age 19) 6 0 China Shanghai Greenland Shenhua v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
DF Li Lei (1992-05-30) 30 May 1992 (age 27) 4 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
DF Gao Zhunyi (1995-08-21) 21 August 1995 (age 24) 8 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Philippines, 15 October 2019
DF Li Shuai (1995-06-18) 18 June 1995 (age 24) 1 0 China Dalian Yifang v.  Philippines, 15 October 2019
DF He Guan (1993-01-25) 25 January 1993 (age 26) 6 0 China Shanghai SIPG v.  Maldives, 10 September 2019
DF Abduhamit Abdugheni (1998-03-10) 10 March 1998 (age 21) 0 0 China Jiangsu Suning 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
DF Han Xuan (1991-02-02) 2 February 1991 (age 28) 0 0 China Henan Jianye 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
DF Liao Junjian (1994-01-27) 27 January 1994 (age 25) 0 0 China Wuhan Zall 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
DF Feng Xiaoting (1985-10-22) 22 October 1985 (age 34) 76 1 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019 China Cup
DF Liu Yiming (1995-02-28) 28 February 1995 (age 24) 13 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019 China Cup
DF Fu Huan (1993-07-12) 12 July 1993 (age 26) 5 0 China Shanghai SIPG 2019 China Cup
DF Zhang Chengdong (1989-02-09) 9 February 1989 (age 30) 32 0 China Hebei China Fortune 2019 AFC Asian Cup

MF Li Shenglong (1992-07-30) 30 July 1992 (age 27) 0 0 China Shanghai SIPG Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
MF Zheng Kaimu (1992-01-28) 28 January 1992 (age 27) 0 0 China Tianjin TEDA Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
MF Liu Yun (1995-01-07) 7 January 1995 (age 25) 0 0 China Wuhan Zall Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
MF Wu Xinghan (1993-02-24) 24 February 1993 (age 26) 0 0 China Shandong Luneng Taishan Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
MF Zheng Zhi (1980-08-20) 20 August 1980 (age 39) 108 15 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Hao Junmin (1987-03-24) 24 March 1987 (age 32) 80 12 China Shandong Luneng Taishan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Wu Xi (1989-02-19) 19 February 1989 (age 30) 68 7 China Jiangsu Suning v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Chi Zhongguo (1989-10-26) 26 October 1989 (age 30) 17 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Nico Yennaris (1993-05-24) 24 May 1993 (age 26) 5 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Liu Binbin (1993-06-16) 16 June 1993 (age 26) 4 0 China Shandong Luneng Taishan v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Xu Xin (1994-04-19) 19 April 1994 (age 25) 0 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
MF Yao Junsheng (1995-10-29) 29 October 1995 (age 24) 1 0 China Tianjin Tianhai v.  Philippines, 15 October 2019
MF Huang Bowen (1987-07-13) 13 July 1987 (age 32) 44 3 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
MF Tao Qianglong (2001-11-20) 20 November 2001 (age 18) 0 0 China Hebei China Fortune 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
MF Wang Qiuming (1993-01-09) 9 January 1993 (age 27) 0 0 China Hebei China Fortune 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification PRE
MF Wang Yongpo (1987-01-19) 19 January 1987 (age 33) 18 8 China Shanghai Shenhua 2019 China Cup
MF He Chao (1995-04-19) 19 April 1995 (age 24) 7 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019 China Cup
MF Peng Xinli (1991-07-22) 22 July 1991 (age 28) 2 0 China Chongqing Lifan 2019 China Cup
MF Zhang Xiuwei (1996-03-13) 13 March 1996 (age 23) 2 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019 China Cup
MF Zhao Xuri (1985-12-03) 3 December 1985 (age 34) 87 2 China Dalian Yifang 2019 AFC Asian Cup
MF Yu Hanchao (1987-02-25) 25 February 1987 (age 32) 59 9 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019 AFC Asian Cup
MF Piao Cheng (1989-08-21) 21 August 1989 (age 30) 5 0 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan 2019 AFC Asian Cup

FW Lü Wenjun (1989-03-11) 11 March 1989 (age 30) 0 0 China Shanghai SIPG Wuhan Training Camp, November 2019
FW Wu Lei (1991-11-19) 19 November 1991 (age 28) 67 18 Spain Espanyol v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
FW Yang Xu (1988-02-12) 12 February 1988 (age 31) 54 28 China Tianjin Tianhai v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
FW Elkeson (1989-07-13) 13 July 1989 (age 30) 4 3 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Syria, 14 November 2019
FW Xie Pengfei (1993-06-29) 29 June 1993 (age 26) 5 0 China Jiangsu Suning v.  Philippines, 15 October 2019
FW Yang Liyu (1997-02-13) 13 February 1997 (age 22) 4 0 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao v.  Philippines, 15 October 2019
FW Zhang Yuning (1997-01-05) 5 January 1997 (age 23) 10 2 China Beijing Sinobo Guoan v.  Tajikistan, 11 June 2019
FW Gao Lin (1986-02-14) 14 February 1986 (age 33) 109 22 China Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao 2019 AFC Asian Cup
FW Xiao Zhi (1985-05-28) 28 May 1985 (age 34) 17 3 China Guangzhou R&F 2019 AFC Asian Cup


  • SUS Player suspended
  • INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury
  • RET Retired from the national team
  • PRE Preliminary squad / standby
  • DEC Declined (personal matters)

Previous squads

Results and fixtures



  • 1 : Non FIFA 'A' international match

Competitive record

All-time results

As of 20 January 2019; counted for the FIFA A-level matches only.[87] All matches before the founding of Chinese Football Association in 1924 are not counted as A-level match by FIFA.
  • This list consist of Olympic Games, Olympics qualification and matches between 1913 and 1923, but all of them will be deleted from list.

correct table :

2 June 2018 :

546 P 268 W 115 D 156 L 991:570 +421

Competition history

FIFA World Cup

China has only appeared at the one World Cup with the appearance being in the 2002 FIFA World Cup where they finished bottom of the group which included a 4-0 loss to Brazil.[89]

China's FIFA World Cup record
Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter Declined participation
Italy 1934
France 1938
Brazil 1950
Switzerland 1954
Sweden 1958 Did not qualify 3 1 1 1 4 5
Chile 1962 Did not enter Declined participation
England 1966
Mexico 1970
Germany 1974
Argentina 1978
Spain 1982 Did not qualify 10 6 2 2 17 6
Mexico 1986 6 4 1 1 23 2
Italy 1990 11 7 0 4 18 9
United States 1994 8 6 0 2 18 4
France 1998 14 8 3 3 24 16
South Korea Japan 2002 Group stage 31st 3 0 0 3 0 9 14 12 1 1 38 5
Germany 2006 Did not qualify 6 5 0 1 14 1
South Africa 2010 8 3 3 2 14 4
Brazil 2014 8 5 0 3 23 9
Russia 2018 18 8 5 5 35 11
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Canada Mexico United States 2026
Total Group stage 1/21 3 0 0 3 0 9 106 65 16 25 216 72

AFC Asian Cup

China's AFC Asian Cup record
Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1956 Did not enter Did not enter
South Korea 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Israel 1964 Did not enter Did not enter
Iran 1968 Did not enter Did not enter
Thailand 1972 Did not enter Did not enter
Iran 1976 Third place 3rd 4 1 1 2 2 4 5 4 0 1 14 4
Kuwait 1980 Group stage 7th 4 1 1 2 9 5 3 2 0 1 5 2
Singapore 1984 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 0 2 11 4 4 4 0 0 15 0
Qatar 1988 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 7 5 5 2 3 0 10 1
Japan 1992 Third place 3rd 5 1 3 1 6 6 3 3 0 0 7 0
United Arab Emirates 1996 Quarter-finals 8th 4 1 0 3 6 7 3 3 0 0 16 1
Lebanon 2000 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 11 7 3 3 0 0 29 0
China 2004 Runners-up 2nd 6 3 2 1 13 6 Qualified as hosts
Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Vietnam 2007 Group stage 9th 3 1 1 1 7 6 6 3 2 1 7 3
Qatar 2011 9th 3 1 1 1 4 4 6 4 1 1 13 5
Australia 2015 Quarter-finals 7th 4 3 0 1 5 4 6 2 2 2 5 6
United Arab Emirates 2019 6th 5 3 0 2 7 7 8 5 2 1 27 1
China 2023 Qualified as hosts 2* 2 0 0 12 0
Total 13/18 0 Titles 55 23 13 20 88 65 52 35 10 7 148 23

*automatic qualification as hosts; but compete in qualification process because of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification.

Summer Olympics

Year Result Pos Pld W D L GF GA
France 1900 to Netherlands 1928 Did not enter
Germany 1936 First round 12 1 0 0 1 0 2
United Kingdom 1948 14 1 0 0 1 0 4
Finland 1952 to Australia 1956 Withdrew after qualifying
Italy 1960 to Canada 1976 Not an IOC member
Soviet Union 1980 to United States 1984 Did not qualify
South Korea 1988 First round 14 3 0 1 2 0 5
Total 3/25 - 5 0 1 4 0 11

For 1992 to 2016, see China national under-23 football team

Asian Games

Year Result Rank Pld W D L GF GA
India 1951 Did not enter
Flag of the Philippines.svg 1954 Did not enter
Japan 1958 Did not enter
Flag of Indonesia.svg 1962 Did not enter
Flag of Thailand.svg 1966 Did not enter
Flag of Thailand.svg 1970 Did not enter
Iran 1974 First round 10 3 1 0 2 7 4
Thailand 1978 Third place 3 7 5 0 2 16 5
India 1982 Quarter-finals 7 4 2 1 1 4 3
South Korea 1986 8 4 2 1 1 10 7
China 1990 6 4 2 0 2 8 4
Japan 1994 Runners-up 2 7 5 1 1 16 8
Thailand 1998 Third place 3 8 6 0 2 24 7
Total* 7/13 - 37 23 3 11 85 38

* Including 1998 onwards (until 2010)

For 2002 to 2018, see China national under-23 football team

EAFF East Asian Cup

Year Result Pos Pld W D* L GF GA
Japan 2003 Third place 3 3 1 0 2 3 4
South Korea 2005 Champions 1 3 1 2 0 5 3
China 2008 Third place 3 3 1 0 2 5 5
Japan 2010 Champions 1 3 2 1 0 5 0
South Korea 2013 Runners-up 2 3 1 2 0 7 6
China 2015 2 3 1 1 1 3 3
Japan 2017 Third place 3 3 0 2 1 4 5
South Korea 2019 Third place 3 3 1 0 2 3 3
Total - 24 8 8 8 35 29


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