Wu Lei wins 2023 Chinese Men’s Footballer of the Year award

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

Shanghai Port’s star forward, Wu Lei, secured the title of 2023 Chinese Men’s Footballer of the Year during an awards ceremony in Shanghai on Monday. This marks Wu’s fourth win, surpassing competitors Yu Hanchao and Wei Shihao. Wu’s remarkable season included netting 18 goals in the 2023 Chinese Super League (CSL), contributing significantly to Shanghai Port’s league victory.

In his acceptance speech, Wu expressed the significance of the award, particularly during the current challenging period for Chinese football. Despite recent underwhelming international performances, Wu emphasized the importance of inspiring hope among Chinese fans through resilient efforts moving forward.

Additionally, 23-year-old forward Zhang Linyan, a standout player for the Chinese national team during the FIFA Women’s World Cup, earned recognition as the Women’s Footballer of the Year. Meanwhile, Yu Genwei, credited with guiding the underdog Tianjin Jinmen Tigers to an eighth-place finish in the CSL last season, received the title of Chinese Football Coach of the Year.

The Special Award was bestowed upon referees Ma Ning, Fu Ming, Zhou Fei, and Zhang Cheng for their historic achievement as the first Chinese referee team to oversee an AFC Asian Cup final. Furthermore, the esteemed Village Super League (Cun Chao) located in Guizhou province, Southwest China, received special acknowledgment for its dedication to promoting grassroots football.

Amidst celebrations and accolades, the award recipients underscored the pivotal role of collective efforts in elevating Chinese football, signaling a collective commitment to fostering growth and excellence within the sport.

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