Wu Lei awarded Chinese Men’s Footballer of the Year for 2023

Shanghai Port Forward Wu Lei Named 2023 Chinese Men’s Footballer of the Year

Shanghai Port forward Wu Lei claimed the title of the 2023 Chinese Men’s Footballer of the Year for the fourth time at a ceremony held on Monday. Wu, who previously won the award in 2018, 2019, and 2022, outshined competitors Yu Hanchao and Wei Shihao. His exceptional performance included scoring 18 goals during the 2023 Chinese Super League (CSL) season, leading his team to a league title victory.

Expressing his gratitude, Wu stated, “This award means a lot to me, especially during this challenging period for Chinese football. We acknowledge our recent shortcomings at international competitions and are committed to restoring hope for Chinese fans in the future.”

On the women’s front, 23-year-old forward Zhang Linyan, an integral player in the Chinese national team at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, was recognized as the Women’s Footballer of the Year. Additionally, Yu Genwei, who guided the underdog Tianjin Jinmen Tigers to an eighth-place finish in the previous CSL season, was named the Chinese Football Coach of the Year.

Acknowledging milestones in officiating and promoting grassroots football, referees Ma Ning, Fu Ming, Zhou Fei, and Zhang Cheng were honored with the Special Award for officiating as the first Chinese referee team at the AFC Asian Cup final. Furthermore, the Village Super League (Cun Chao) in Guizhou province, Southwest China, received the Special Award for its efforts in grassroots football development.

Overall, the ceremony highlighted the outstanding achievements of key figures in Chinese football, emphasizing the commitment to excellence and advancement within the sport.

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