SPORTS Brazilian-born Goncalves named for first time in China's World Cup qualifiers team

SPORTS

Brazilian-born Goncalves named for first time in China's World Cup qualifiers team

CGTN

13:25, April 30, 2020

China's naturalized player Elkeson (C), also known as Ai Kesen, celebrates with his teammates of Guangzhou Evergrande after winning the 2019 Chinese Super League title in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, December 1, 2019. (Photo: VCG)

China's national football team on Wednesday announced a 27-strong squad for a training camp in May as they prepare for delayed World Cup qualifying matches, which as of yet have not been rescheduled.

Seven-time Chinese Super league title winners Guangzhou Evergrande have five players in the squad, including naturalized striker Elkeson, also known as Ai Kesen, and striker Wei Shihao who is returning from injury.

China's naturalized player Luo Guofu (Aloisio Goncalves) plays for Guangdong South China Tiger during the China League One match with Qingdao Huanghai FC in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, August 31, 2019. (Photo: VCG)

Brazilian-born striker Aloisio Goncalves, or Luo Guofu, was named in the roster for the first time and could also make his debut when the games resume.

Luo joined Shandong Luneng from Sao Paulo in 2014, and became the top goal-scorer in 2015 Chinese Super League.

He then moved to Hebei Fortune in 2016 before leaving for China League One's team Guangdong South China Tiger based in Meizhou, south China's Guangdong Province, for two seasons. He became a member of Guangzhou Evergrande in November 2019.

The 31-year-old recently said via social media that it's his honor to represent China to compete in World Cup qualifiers.

Li Ke (L) of Beijing Guoan shoots the ball during the AFC Champions League group match with the Chiangrai United in Chiang Rai, Thailand, February 18, 2020. (Photo: VCG)

Beijing Guoan also have five players in the squad including naturalized striker Nico Yennaris, also known as Li Ke, who was born in 1993 in the UK. Li's mother is Chinese.

However, Espanyol forward Wu Lei is not involved.

This is the first time that three naturalized players have been named in the squad with Li Tie's side currently sitting second in the five-team Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifying Group A with seven points from four games, eight points behind group leader Syria. March's games against the Maldives and Guam, as well as matches with the Philippines and Syria, slated for June, are all postponed.

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