China unveils 26-man squad for FIFA World Cup qualifiers

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 25, 2020
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Zheng Zhi of China attends a training session in Bacolod, the Philippines, Oct. 14, 2019. The national men's soccer team of China is preparing for the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Philippines held in Bacolod on Oct. 15. (Xinhua/Du Yu)

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has announced a 26-man squad on Monday to prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in March.

Five players, including Brazilian-born, naturalized striker Ai Kesen from Chinese Super League powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande, have been called up to the national team, while another British-born naturalized midfielder Li Ke from Beijing Gouan has been surprisingly not included in the roster.

Star forward Wu Lei, who plays for La Liga's Espanyol, is the only listed player in the national squad from one of the top five major European football leagues.

Head coach Li Tie, who was appointed to succeed Italian Marcello Lippi in January, will coach his first two World Cup qualifiers against the Maldives and Guam behind closed doors in Buriram, Thailand amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Li and his players will assemble on March 3 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In order to ensure the team will not be affected by the epidemic, all the players and staff who are currently in China will accept medical examination in Beijing before departure for Dubai.

The following is the 26-man roster:

Goalkeepers: Yan Junling (Shanghai SIPG), Dong Chunyu(Wuhan Zall), Liu Dianzuo (Guangzhou Evergrande);

Defenders: Zhang Linpeng (Guangzhou Evergrande), Gao Zhunyi(Guangzhou Evergrande), Yu Dabao (Beijing Guoan), Li Lei (Beijing Guoan), Li Ang (Jiangsu Suning), Ming Tian(Wuhan Zall), Jiang Zhipeng (Hebei China Fortune), Tang Miao (Guangzhou R&F);

Midfielders: Xu Xin (Guangzhou Evergrande), Li Xing (Wuhan Zall), Liu Yun(Wuhan Zall), Wu Xi (Jiangsu Suning), Chi Zhongguo (Beijing Guoan), Liu Binbin (Shandong Luneng), Zhang Xizhe (Beijing Guoan), Liu Binbin (Shandong Luneng), Jin Jingdao (Shandong Luneng), Feng Jing (Chongqing Lifan);

Forwards: Ai Kesen (Guangzhou Evergrande), Dong Xuesheng (Hebei China Fortune), Tan Long (Changchun Yatai), Yang Xu (Tianjin Tianhai), Wu Lei (Espanyol). 

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