Football player's striking resemblance to Chinese star causes stir online

25 December 2014 / 1 year 10 months ago

Shanghai-based soccer player Li Jiayue has gained quite the online popularity, not because her team drew 1-1 against the U.S. in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on December 11 but because her selfies resemble those of Chinese actress Gao Yuanyuan.

The Chinese women's soccer team came back from a 1-0 deficit to tie 1-1 with the United States in the opening match of the International Tournament of Brasilia.

After the match, Li and her teammates took a series of selfies, which went viral online.

Li, born in 1990, was recently a member of the Shanghai women's soccer club but earlier this year began playing for the Korean Super League as center half.

As the team's regular center half, Li was chosen to participate in this year's Asian Games in South Korea and in the International Tournament of Brasilia.

Recently, Chinese women's soccer teams were reported to be paying their players rather low salaries. Li also complained on her personal account on Weibo — China's version of Twitter — that the general public pays little attention to Chinese women's soccer.

To prepare for the International Tournament of Brasilia, Li and her teammates were brought in to take part in a closed training camp on November 18.

Perhaps having benefited from the extra session, the team pulled off a tie against the U.S., ending their eight-game losing streak, reports womenofchina and China Daily

The next matches will be played on December 17, when China takes on Brazil and the U.S. clashes with Argentina. The top two teams will meet for the title on December 21. The other two nations will play for third place.

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