The then Shanghai SIPG's Elkeson kicks the ball during the AFC Champions League group stage football match between China's Shanghai SIPG and South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai in Shanghai on March 7, 2018. (PHOTO / AFP)
BEIJING — Guangzhou Evergrande striker Elkeson has been named in Marcello Lippi's latest China squad, becoming the first player without Chinese heritage to be called up for international duty.
The two-time Asian Champions League winner will join former Arsenal player Li Ke to become the second naturalized player in the China squad
Brazil-born Elkeson has played in the Chinese Super League since 2013, and is eligible to play for China after meeting FIFA's five-year residency requirement.
The two-time Asian Champions League winner will join former Arsenal player Li Ke, whose English name is Nico Yennaris, to become the second naturalized player in the China squad, and the first with no family ties to the country.
Elsewhere, star forward Wu Lei also returns to the national team fold.
Lippi and his players will assemble on September 2 in Guangzhou to prepare for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with China's first match on September 10 against the Maldives.
Guangzhou Evergrande's Elkeson (center) watches as Beijing Guoan's goal keeper Zou Dehai (second left, in grey jersey) fails to stop a goal during their Chinese Super League football match in Beijing on August 11, 2019. (PHOTO / AFP)
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