Brazil-born Elkeson, who was naturalised as a citizen of China recently, joined the national football team in their Guangzhou training camp ahead of their World Cup qualifier against the Maldives on Tuesday.
China’s hopes of qualifying for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar have been boosted by Elkeson’s addition to the national team giving head coach Marcello Lippi more options up front.
Elkeson, or Ai Kesen, as he is referred to in China now became the first player in the national team without any known Chinese ancestry.
He signed with Guangzhou Evergrande in late December 2012, helping Marcello Lippi’s side to win the AFC Champions League in 2013 and in 2015.
Elkeson told media that he expects to see more naturalised players in the China team, with 26-year-old and former Arsenal and Brentford player Nicholas Yennaris as an example.
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