Hello everyone, this is Damian from the languagecaster team and as it’s Chinese New Year we thought we’d take a look back at one of our listening posts from 2015 when we reported on football in China. Now obviously some of the data has changed in the past five years but the worksheet, with answers, is a useful resource for learners of English – in fact, we have added more updated information to the report at the end! Oh, and as it is 2020 and five years later do you know what Chinese Year is being celebrated? The answer, along with more information will appear at the end of this report. OK, here’s the 2015 report on football in China.



Football in China
Download Worksheet Here

DF: Now, as it is Chinese New Year we are going to be taking a look at football in China through numbers in this week’s main listening report. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the post, and we also have a worksheet with answers here.


This is the current FIFA ranking for the Chinese men’s football team – an increase of 15 places since the start of the year thanks to their performances in the recent Asian Cup. Though this is an improvement, it is still a long way from the 1998 high of 37. The Chinese women’s national team is currently in 13th position – up from 18th last year.


The Chinese national team has only played on one occasion in the World Cup – in 2002 in Japan/Korea. The team failed to progress from the group stage which included Brazil, Costa Rica and Turkey and did not even register a point or score a goal. They have not really looked like qualifying since then and indeed in the 2014 qualification campaign they did not even manage to make it into the final group stage in the Asian section.


The Chinese Super League first started in 2004 with 12 teams taking part. Shenzhen Jianlibao were the inaugural winners but the most successful club in Super League history is Guangzhou Evergrande who have won the last four titles followed by Shandong Luneng with three wins. There are now 16 teams in the league with the top 3 teams qualifying for the Asian Champions League while the bottom two sides are relegated to the second tier.


The most capped player in Chinese history is Li Weifeng with 112 appearances for the national side, while the all-time leading scorer is Hao Haidong with 41 goals in 107 games – not too shabby at all.

Contact/Social Media

DF: Now, you can find the transcript for that report and a worksheet with answers by coming along to our site here at languagecaster.com. You’ll also be able to find lots of other football-language related resources, for example, we have a huge list of football expressions and vocabulary in our football glossary. And we also have a football-language forum where you can ask us any questions about words or phrases from football. And don’t forget that you can get in contact with us via Twitter or by Facebook.

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (in Mandarin)

2020 Update

OK, that report of course was from 2015 when we were entering the Year of the Sheep and this year, that’s 2020, we are starting the Year of the Rat. Since then there have also been some changes in the figures mentioned earlier. For example, the Chinese national men’s side are in 78th position in the FIFA rankings – so slightly higher than in 2015 – though frustratingly for football fans of the national team no real progress seems to have been made as they have still only qualified for one World Cup (in 2002). Indeed, the same could be said about the women’s side that currently lies in 15th position (December 2019) but at least the women’s side have played in a recent World Cup – they did of course play in last summer’s competition in France.

There are still 16 teams playing in the Chinese Super League and Guangzhou Evergrande have still won the most domestic league titles but now the southern Chinese side have 8 titles to their name. As for the most capped player, Li Weifeng still has the most appearances for his country with 112 but two current day players, Gao Lin and Zheng Zhi are closing in on the record with 109 and 108 caps respectively.


Thank you everybody for listening and of course congratulations to all those celebrating Chinese New Year. Don’t forget to come along to our site here at languagecaster.com where you can check through our huge football-language glossary, leave a comment, ask a question and of course of course don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly podcast – and you can do this with i-tunes, tunedin, stitcher, podbean or any other podcast player. Thank you and goodbye.

Further Links

Vocabulary support

  • the 1998 high: The highest position that China has featured on FIFA’s ranking of countries
  • to progress from: To qualify
  • register a point: To earn a point
  • inaugural: The first ever
  • the second tier: The second division
  • shabby: Not too bad at all
If you want to know more about a particular area of football language leave a comment below. Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here If you have any suggestions, contact us at admin@languagecaster.com
Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

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2014-2015Episode 36