Aloisio energizes China's cause

By SHI FUTIAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-05-12 09:04
Aloisio celebrates scoring for Hebei China Fortune during a Chinese Super League match against Beijing Guo'an in 2017. XINHUA

Coach Li hails 'hardworking' addition, but concerns linger over naturalization's 'double-edged sword'

With Team China welcoming a third naturalized player to its ranks this week, hopes are rising that all is not lost for the country's bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

Brazil-born newcomer Aloisio, known in Chinese as Luo Guofu, enjoyed his first training session with the national squad in Shanghai on Monday.

Despite some lingering doubts about the effectiveness of the naturalization policy, Aloisio is raring to prove the critics wrong by helping China book a ticket to the 2022 finals in Qatar.

"I'm very happy now. I've been in China for almost seven years, and now I'm a member of the Chinese national team," Aloisio told PP Sports after arriving at Team China's hotel on Sunday.

"I really want to thank everyone who has helped me in China, including the Chinese Football Association and the clubs. Now it's the time to deliver great performances. I'll try my best to make my contribution."

Aloisio joined Shandong Luneng from Sao Paulo in 2014 and finished as the Chinese Super League's top scorer in 2015 with 22 goals in 28 games.

Stints at Hebei China Fortune and second-tier Guangdong South China Tiger followed, with the popular 31-year-old's energetic presence on the pitch and in the dressing room earning him a move back to the top flight in January with reigning CSL champion Guangzhou Evergrande.

He becomes China's third naturalized player, joining Brazil-born Ai Kesen (aka Elkeson) and England-born Li Ke (aka Nico Yennaris), and Aloisio is relishing the battle for starting berths among the newbies.

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