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Wu Lei named 2023 Chinese Men's Footballer of the Year

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-27 09:12
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Wu Lei (center) in action, Shanghai, Feb 25, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

SHANGHAI -- Shanghai Port forward Wu Lei was named 2023 Chinese Men's Footballer of the Year at a ceremony here on Monday, the fourth time for him to clinch the annual award.

Beating other two rivals of Yu Hanchao and Wei Shihao, Wu, who won the award in 2018, 2019 and 2022, has scored 18 goals in the 2023 Chinese Super League (CSL) season and helped his club win the second league title.

"This award means a lot to me, especially in this difficult time for Chinese football. We know that we didn't play well at international competitions recently, we must try our best to give Chinese fans hope in the future," Wu said.

23-year-old forward Zhang Linyan, a key member of the Chinese national team at FIFA Women's World Cup, was honored as the Women's Footballer of the Year.

Leading the underdog Tianjin Jinmen Tigers to finish eighth in the CSL last season, Yu Genwei was named the Chinese Football Coach of the Year.

The Special Award was awarded to referees Ma Ning, Fu Ming, Zhou Fei and Zhang Cheng for becoming the first Chinese referee team to officiate at AFC Asian Cup final, while the renowned Village Super League (Cun Chao) in Southwest China's Guizhou province was also granted the special award, thanks to their efforts to promote grassroots football.

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