Chinese soccer authority mourns former international Zhang Ouying

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The Chinese Football Association (CFA) mourned the loss of former international Zhang Ouying, one of the "Steel Roses" who played during the the country's glory days in women's soccer.

Zhang died at the age of 43 on Saturday in Santiago in the United States after she was diagnosed with lung cancer in March.

Zhang was a member of the runners-up team at the 1999 World Cup and a gold medalist at the 1998 Asian Games as well as the 1999 Asian Cup.

"The passing of madame Zhang Ouying is a loss for Chinese soccer. We are in deep sorrow after losing such a respectable figure in our sport," the CFA said in an essay in memory of Zhang on Monday.

The CFA said they will always remember what Zhang has done for Chinese soccer and sent condolences to her family.

According to a report of Soccer newspaper, Zhang asked to put on her national team jersey on her deathbed.

"Zhang Ouying was a representative figure of China's most glorious days in women's soccer. As a player, she took part in three World Cups and two Olympic Games. Her cheerful personality and love for the sport earned her a lot of good friends," the report said.

Chinese fans expressed their sorrow for the death of the former international striker who just turned 43 on Nov. 2.

"The Steel Rose has withered away. I hope there is no pain in heaven," said an internet user.

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