A team that’s hard to get a good handle on China could yet be a thorn in the side of their Group B opposition but upheavals off of the pitch haven’t helped the Steel Roses galvanise since their last World Cup outing.
Having reached the quarterfinals in Canada, the team parted way with then coach, Hao Wei after the tournament, with his French successor Bruno Bini lasting only until 2017.
Bini was replaced by Sigurður Ragnar Eyjólfsson who was in turn replaced by Jia Xiuquan the following year. The lack of continuity something that’s made it hard to really get beneath the surface of the team and analyse their honest chances this summer.
Although China’s heyday was in the 1990’s the team possesses some talented individuals who thankfully have big game and major tournament experience, but with the unsettled nature of the team since Canada and the tough Group B opposition, it’s hard to see France going down as one of China’s memorable World Cup outings.
Goalkeepers: Xu Huan (Beijing), Peng Shimeng (Jiangsu), Yang Yan (Sichuan), Bi Ziaolin (Dalian).
Defenders: Liu Shanshan (Beijing), Han Peng (Guangdong), Wang Ying (Wuhan), Li Jiayue (Shanghai), Wu Haiyan (Wuhan), Lin Yuping (Wuhan), Luo Guiping (Guangdong).
Midfielders: Tan Ruyin (Guangdong), Wang Yan (Beijing), Li Wen (Dalian), Zhang Rui (Changchun), Yao Wei (Wuhan), Lou Jiahui (Henan), Wang Shuang (Paris Saint-Germain), Gu Yasha (Beijing), Li Yanqiu (Wuhan).
Attackers: Yang Li (Jiangsu), Yang Man (Shandong), Li Ying (Guangdong), Xie Qiwen (Guangdong), Wang Shanshan (Dalian), Song Duan (Dalian).
*Above is the expanded 26-player team named by Jia Xiuquan on 24 May
The team Jia Xiuquan has assembled is far from being a poor one with a handful of really notable players but the group China have been drawn in will be an incredible test for them. Whilst the Steel Roses could finish as a best third-placed finisher, it is hard to see them progressing from the group.
Also see: Our main 2019 Women’s World Cup page.
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