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News Article

China turn to naturalised players to save World Cup hopes

China, who have big ambitions but are perennial underachievers ranked 77th in the world, began drafting in players born overseas in 2019 in a quick fix to reach the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

Coach Li Tie has picked a 26-man squad that includes a trio of offensive players originally from Brazil -- Elkeson, Fernando Henrique and Alan Carvalho.

Also included is their Guangzhou FC team-mate Tyias Browning, the former Everton central defender who was born in Liverpool and played for England youth teams.

The fifth naturalised player is Nico Yennaris, the former Arsenal midfielder and another to have played for England youth teams before switching to China.

In their previous World Cup qualifier, a 2-1 defeat to Syria under former coach Marcello Lippi in November 2019, only Elkeson and Yennaris featured.

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