China’s top soccer star Wu Lei (33, Shanghai Port) bowed his head. He expressed his apologies to his fans for the worst performance of the Chinese national team, including himself.랭크카지노도메인
According to a report by China’s Sina Sports on the 23rd (Korea time), Wu Lei said after the third group match of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Qatar Asian Cup, “The results were not good. I failed to score a single goal in the three group matches,” adding, “I am so grateful to the Chinese soccer fans for their support even when we were struggling. However, Chinese soccer disappointed the fans. I will work hard and develop further in the future.”
China was eliminated in the group league at the Qatar Asian Cup. China was ranked third in Group A with two draws and one loss (two points). In this year’s event, the top four teams of the first and second places in their respective groups and the third place in their respective groups will advance to the round of 16. China also had hope, but it quickly disappeared due to the results of other groups. No matter how the remaining group matches end, there will be more than four teams that accumulate more points than China.
Syria, ranking third in Group B, and Palestine, ranking third in Group C, had one win, one draw and one loss (four points), while Japan and Indonesia already secured three points (one win and one loss) with one game left in Group D. In Group E, Jordan and Korea had one win and one draw (four points), and Bahrain had one win and one loss (three points). Eventually, China was eliminated.
Not only the result but also the contents were shocking. China failed to score a single goal during the three group matches against Qatar, Tajikistan and Lebanon. In the past two matches against Lebanon, China had 15 shots in total and seven on target, but failed to shake the net. This means that its strikers were sluggish. Lebanon and Tajikistan are teams that are much lower in the FIFA rankings than China. China ranks 79th, Lebanon 107th, and Tajikistan 106th. Despite this, China did not win.
Chinese ace Wu Lei could not avoid the arrow of criticism. He started in the first and second matches, but failed to raise the point of attack. In particular, he missed a decisive goal chance in the second match against Lebanon. In the 20th minute of the second half, Wu Lei, who was in front of the goal, connected the ball that Lebanon’s goalkeeper failed to handle properly with a direct shot. The goalkeeper fell over and the goalpost was empty. It could have been easy to score, but Wu Lei’s shot was too weak. As the ball rarely moved forward, the opponent’s defense cleared it first.
“Urey failed to score a goal in an empty net at the Asian Cup,” China’s Sina Sports said at the time. “Urey shot in front of the net in the 20th minute of the second half, but he was not strong. He was blocked by Lebanon’s defense.” Footmob, a football arts medium, also gave Urey a low rating of 6.5. Another statistical medium, Sofa Score, had a rating of only 6.2.
Chinese soccer fans strongly criticized him. One Chinese soccer fan said, “Urey has shown himself. He can’t even join the second or third tier teams.” Another soccer fan said, “Urey was on the bench in Spain’s second tier as well. This shows that he is well versed in soccer. I didn’t notice anything other than playing hard.” Chinese soccer fans also criticized him, saying, “Don’t waste money and disband the team immediately.”
Wu Lei was once called the hope of Chinese soccer. In 2019, he wore an Espanyol uniform in Spain. Many Chinese soccer fans praised him for advancing to the big league, which is rarely seen by a Chinese player. He was even called “China’s Son Heung-min.” Wu Lei was also full of confidence. When asked to compare him with the “South Korean captain” Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur), Wu Lei replied, “We may be around the same age, but our walking paths were completely different. Son Heung-min was abroad since he was young, and if I had gone abroad early, I could have done it.” However, Wu Lei was pushed out of the competition to become a member of his team. When Espanyol was demoted to the second division, Wu Lei was also a member of the bench. Ultimately, Wu Lei returned to the Chinese league in 2022.
Son and Wu Lei also had a showdown in the second qualifying round for the Asian region for the 2026 North-China World Cup in November last year. The result was a landslide victory for Son. The Republic of Korea had a landslide 3-0 victory away from China. Son also scored multiple goals to play the ace role. Wu Lei, on the other hand, was quiet. Wu Lei’s sluggish performance continued at the Asian Cup. Wu Lei also became humble.
Based on the statistical media Opta, China had a 69.1 percent chance of advancing to the round of 16 teams up until the first group match. China had 33.6 percent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals and 14 percent chance of advancing to the semifinals. In addition, China had a 5.2 percent chance of winning the semifinals and a 1.9 percent chance of winning the title. Not many people expected China to be so sluggish. However, China’s problem was even more serious.
Urey said, “The current level gap in Asian soccer is narrowing. The tempo of the competitors we previously thought of and personal ability have all improved. Their skills have improved and they have grown. We lacked this. We have to develop in all aspects.”
Now, China’s next goal is to advance to the World Cup finals in North Korea, Central America, and the U.S. Since its first participation in the 2002 World Cup Korea-Japan, China has failed to advance to the World Cup finals for more than 20 years. From China’s perspective, fortunately, the number of countries that participate in the World Cup has increased from 32 to 48. However, Korea needs to make efforts. China is ranking third in Group C in the second preliminary round. It will compete with South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.
Earlier, Wu Lei said, “If you look at the strong eyes of the players of the two teams entering the stadium, the World Cup is the biggest soccer stage,” adding, “It is every player’s dream to participate in the World Cup. If I participate in the World Cup wearing the Chinese national team uniform, I may be in tears when the Chinese national team rings.”