Mon 30 August 2021 | 14:14

Wei Shihao: Guangzhou star targets World Cup qualification with China

China are set to play against Australia in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Thursday.

Wei Shihao

 is China PR’s main striker in the second round of their World Cup qualifying campaign this year. The 


striker was called up to the national team in May, but an unfortunate injury prevented him from helping Li Tie's side in their efforts to reach the next round.

"It was disappointing missing those [key] matches,"

the 26-year-old told



"I am a player who always gives my all in training and playing and this perhaps makes me injury-prone. Two years ago, I also missed our [2019 AFC] Asian Cup campaign due to physical reasons. And after all this, I have thought of how to avoid getting unnecessarily injured. "I am a bit thin and coach Li Tie asked me to get physically strong through weight training. Now I have learned that as a professional player, it is as important to protect yourself on the pitch so to perform well."

Wei joined the Portuguese side Boavista from Shandong Luneng FC's youth academy in 2014. The Chinese striker says he is a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portugal captain being his childhood idol.

"I started playing football as a little boy and my dad is a football fan. We both became Ronaldo fans after watching UEFA Euro 2004. I began watching his matches, I watched nearly all the videos of his matches which I could find.”

Wei has established himself as a crucial player for Guangzhou since his transfer from BJ Guoan in 2019. The 26-year-old has scored 9 goals and provided 2 assists in his 14 appearances for the Chinese Super League side this season.

"I scored more goals with Guangzhou because coach Cannavaro placed a lot of faith in me and gave me plenty of chances,"

Wei said.

"Added to that, we have top-quality team-mates who have provided me with great support. In recent seasons, Paulinho attracted much attention from the opposition leaving me with chances to score. Captain Zheng Zhi also helped me a lot through his accurate passes."

Asked about China’s chances of qualifying for the Qatar Wolrd Cup, the winger responded:

"I think our group is not bad. Both Australia and Japan are strong but we will have our chances as long as we perform well. We do our work well, play to our level and the opportunities will come naturally. It is every footballer's dream to play in the World Cup and we will definitely do our best to make that happen."

After their match against Australia, China will face Japan in their next World Cup qualifier on September 7.


source: SportMob

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