China’s UEFA Champions League connection

Some great European-based players have been making the big move east this winter to join clubs in China.

To mark Chinese New Year, lists the former UEFA Champions League talents lined up to feature in the Chinese Super League when the 2017 season begins in March. All statistics include qualifying.

Meanwhile, can you answer the following questions (answers to be found below):

  • Which three former UEFA Champions League winners are currently playing in China’s top division?
  • Which five Chinese Super League players also featured at UEFA EURO 2016?
  • Name the three Chinese players who have appeared in the UEFA Champions League?

Hulk (Shanghai SIPG)
Hulk celebrates a goal for Shanghai SIPG©Getty Images

Former UEFA Champions League players registered with Chinese Super League clubs (listed by appearances/goals)
92/3: Ricardo Carvalho (POR – Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Monaco) – Shanghai SIPG
59/2: John Obi Mikel (NIG – Chelsea) – Tianjin Teda
56/20: Hulk (BRA – Porto, Zenit) – Shanghai SIPG
52/4: Axel Witsel (BEL – Standard Liège, Benfica, Zenit) – Tianjin Quanjian
46/13: Carlos Tévez (ARG – Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus) – Shanghai Shenhua
45/7: Ramires (BRA – Benfica, Chelsea) – Jiangsu Suning
45/12: Alex Teixeira (BRA – Shakhtar) – Jiangsu Suning
39/10: Burak Yılmaz (TUR – Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor, Galatasaray) – Beijing Guoan
39/9: Ezequiel Lavezzi (ARG – Napoli, Paris Saint-Germain) – Hebei CF
36/10: Obafemi Martins (NIG – Internazionale, Wolfsburg, Rubin) – Shanghai Shenhua
31/16: Eran Zahavi (ISR – Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Maccabi Tel-Aviv) – Guanghzhou RF
30/8: Oscar (BRA – Chelsea) – Shanghai SIPG
28/14: Jackson Martínez (COL – Porto, Atlético Madrid) – Guangzhou Evergrande
22/6: Gervinho (CIV – Arsenal, Roma) – Hebei CF
15/0: Stéphane Mbia (CMR – Marseille) – Hebei CF
12/0: Fredy Guarín (COL – Porto) – Shanghai Shenhua
9/0: James Holland (AUS – Austria Wien) – Liaoning Whowin
9/2: Robbie Kruse (AUS – Leverkusen) – Liaoning Whowin
7/1: Alan (BRA – Salzburg) – Guangzhou Evergrande
6/0: Fredy Montero (COL – Sporting CP) – Tianjin Teda
5/1: Nemanja Gudelj (SRB – Ajax) – Tianjin Teda
5/0: Graziano Pellè (ITA – AZ) – Shandong Luneng
4/1: Alan Kardec (BRA – Benfica) – Chongqing Lifan
4/0: Renato Augusto (BRA – Leverkusen) – Beijing Guoan
4/0: Sun Xiang (CHI – PSV Eindhoven) – Shanghai SIPG
2/0: Junmin Hao (CHI – Schalke) – Shandong Luneng

André Villas-Boas (Shanghai SIPG)
André Villas-Boas following his arrival in China©Getty Images

Former UEFA Champions League coaches registered with Chinese Super League clubs (listed by coaching appearances)
70: Manuel Pellegrini (ARG – Villarreal, Real Madrid, Málaga, Manchester City) – Hebei CF
40: Felix Magath (GER – Stuttgart, Bayern München, Schalke) – Shandong Luneng
25: André Villas-Boas (POR – Chelsea, Zenit) – Shanghai SIPG
24: Jaime Pacheco (POR – Boavista) – Tianjin Teda
6: Luiz Felipe Scolari (BRA – Chelsea) – Guangzhou Evergrande

Former European Cup/UEFA Champions League players now registered as coaches with Chinese Super League clubs (listed by appearances/goals)
68/2: Fabio Cannavaro (ITA – Parma, Internazionale Milano, Juventus, Real Madrid) – Tianjin Quanjian
18/2: Felix Magath (GER – Hamburg) – Shandong Luneng
14/5: Dragan Stojković (SRB – Crvena zvezda, Marseille) – Guangzhou RF
14/2: Gustavo Poyet (URU – Chelsea) – Shanghai Shenhua
9/0: Jaime Pacheco (POR – Porto) – Tianjin Teda

Chinese Super League clubs ranked by the number of UEFA Champions League appearances in their squads (excluding coaches)
182/31: Shanghai SIPG
94/23: Shanghai Shenhua
90/19: Jiangsu Suning
76/15: Hebei CF
70/3: Tianjin Teda
52/4: Tianjin Quanjian
43/10: Beijing Guoan
35/15: Guangzhou Evergrande
31/16: Guangzhou RF
18/2: Liaoning Whowin
7/0: Shandong Luneng
4/1: Chongqing Lifan
0/0: Henan Jianye
0/0: Yanbian Fude
0/0: Guizhou Zhicheng
0/0: Changchun Yatai

Graziano Pellè (Shangdong Luneng)
Graziano Pellè: from EURO to Shandong Luneng©Getty Images

Chinese Super League players who were also in their national squads for UEFA EURO 2016
Ricardo Carvalho (Portugal) – Shanghai SIPG
Richárd Guzmics (Hungary) – Yanbian Funde
Graziano Pellè (Italy) – Shandong Luneng
Axel Witsel (Belgium) – Tianjin Quanjian
Burak Yılmaz (Turkey) – Beijing Guoan

To date, only three Chinese players have featured in the UEFA Champions League, none of them scoring (listed in order of appearances)
4: Sun Xiang (PSV Eindhoven)
2: Hao Junmin (Schalke)
1: Dong Fangzhou (Manchester United)

UEFA Champions League winners registered with Chinese Super League clubs
Ricardo Carvalho (Porto, 2004)
John Obi Mikel (Chelsea, 2012)
Carlos Tévez (Manchester United, 2008)

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