Is he Zhang Xiuwei or Zhang Jixuan?

Zhang Xiuwei has been one of China’s rising stars over the previous Chinese Super League (CSL) seasons. Since then however, some revealing information about who he really is was reported inSpanish newspaper Marca.

For some odd reason that I find hard to get my head around, Zhang’s parents decided to falsify his identity card changing his name to Zhang Jixuan. This made him 2 years older, allowing him to school at an earlier age than the regular starting school age.

Why his parents would do this is unbeknown to me, but maybe there is some kind of benefit to doing this in China. When Zhang started school it became clear he possessed a talent for playing football, so his parents decided to change his identity card back to his original name and age – Zhang Xiuwei.

During the back tail end of the last CSL season, he managed to break through into Tianjin Quanjian’s first team, missing only 4 games out of 21 for manager Fabio Cannavaro’s side. Due to his emergence for Tianjin, he then went on to become one of China’s brightest young talents.

On August 16th he crashed his Porsche into six other cars attempting to drive home drunk after a night out in Tianjin. This is when his double identity became problematic for him and the double life his parents thrust upon him started to unravel.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) have a record of a Zhang Jixuan who was born in 1994. After his car crash, his parallel life as Zhang Xiuwei became clear. We can only presume his car was registered in the wrong name.

Zhang has now been banned from playing football for 9 months because of this. The CFA is trying to crack down hard on all kinds of cheating in what can only be seen as trying to make the league more professional and respected.

From the news articles that I could find written in English, it’s unclear whether the punishment is for pretending to be someone he wasn’t or for being registered as a player in the CFA records twice. Or was it mainly just for lying about his age? Unfortunately due to Zhang and his parent's stupidity the CSL and the Chinese national team has lost one of the biggest up-and-coming talents in the country currently.

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