Espanyol's Chinese forward and former Shanghai SIPG player Wu Lei applauds during his official presentation by RCD Espanyol at the RCDE Stadium in Cornella de Llobregat on Jan 29, 2019. (PAU BARRENA / AFP)
BEIJING - Striker Wu Lei defended his Chinese Footballer of The Year title while Wang Shuang was named Chinese female Footballer of The Year for the third straight time on the awarding ceremony here on Friday.
I feel very honored to receive this award. The year 2019 was very challenging for me and I hope to give better performance in 2020
Wu, who currently plays for Spanish La Liga side Espanyol, beat national team captain Hao Junmin and naturalized player Ai Kesen to lift the trophy. He received the award in Barcelona.
"I feel very honored to receive this award. The year 2019 was very challenging for me and I hope to give better performance in 2020," said the 28-year-old, whose late equalizer in Espanyol's 2-2 draw with Barcelona FC earlier this month sparked a wave of praises from media and fans in China.
Wang Shuang, who returned to hometown team Wuhan in domestic league after a one-year spell at Paris Saint-German, bagged home her third award in as many editions.
The Best Coach of The Year award went to new national team coach Li Tie for leading newly-promoted Wuhan Zall to a sixth-place finish in the Chinese Super League.
Two newly-added awards, Club and Player of The Year for Chinese football esports, were given to Manchester City Esports and Huang Wenjun respectively.
The winners were voted by a panel of 112 people from sports media at home and abroad.
China's Wang Shuang shoots during a Group C match against Denmark at the Algarve Cup 2019 in Santo Antonio, Portugal, March 4, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
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