Get to know a little more about Melbourne Victory’s next 2019 AFC Champions League opponents, two-time competition winners Guangzhou Evergrande.
Match Day 4 in Group F will take place on Tuesday, April 23. Victory hosts Guangzhou at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
How did Guangzou qualify?
In the 2018 Chinese Super League season Guangzhou finished in second place – only five points behind winners Shanghai SIPG.
As runners-up, Guangzhou gained automatic qualification for the 2019 AFC Champions League – its eighth consecutive appearance in the competition.
Who’s in charge?
Italian football legend and World Cup winner, Fabio Cannavaro is currently in his second stint at the helm of Guangzhou.
The 2006 Ballon d’Or winner was announced as the club’s manager in 2017 and has since assembled a squad around Brazilian midfielder Paulinho.
Cannavaro won the Chinese FA Super Cup in February 2018 and was also appointed head coach of the Chinese national team in March 2019.
Paulinho’s CV speaks for itself. The 30-year-old has played for Corinthians, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona and 56 times for Brazil. He can play anywhere in midfield but often occupies a defensive-midfield role, where he can dictate the pace of the game.
Another Brazilian making a name for himself in China is 25-year-old Anderson Talisca. The attacking midfielder has scored in both of Guangzhou’s 2019 Champions League games and is a free-kick specialist.
Speedy winger Yu Hanchao assisted Paulinho and Talisca during Guangzhou’s triumph over Hiroshima. The Chinese international won the AFC Champions League in 2015 and has made over 100 appearances for the club.
Watch Melbourne Victory’s AFC Champions League games live on Kayo Sports.