Chen Yi-Wei, a warrior and a stalwart of Taiwanese football


Chen Yi-Wei is a name not many football fans around the world will know but speak to any in the footballing community around Taiwan and they will tell you he is a stalwart of Taiwanese football and an absolute warrior.

Chen Yi-Wei is one of the best Taiwanese players of his generation

Chen Yi-Wei is one of those rare beasts that barely exist in football today, he is very much a one-man club. As other than spending his early footballing years playing for Taiwan Sports University, the rest of his footballing career has been spent serving one club Taipower.

He has been one of the best and most determined players of his generation in Taiwan, this is from a group of players who on the island have been seen as the golden generation. As despite their humble ranking on the global stage, the nation still managed to achieve their highest ever FIFA world ranking of 121st in the world in April 2018. 

A huge part of this rise up the rankings was the influence of Chen Yi-Wei on the younger members of the squad. Now at 33-years-old, Chen is regarded as an experienced member of the national side. The 39 caps may seem low for such a senior member of the national setup, but Chen at times did not feature regularly for his country so taking this into account and the number of times smaller nations play you can see his tally of caps is impressive. This, as seen him become essential to the side due to his determination and willingness to play in any position, asked, along with the composure he brings to the squad.

That header thundered past Australia's Matt Ryan

Chen Yi-Wei gives me one of the biggest highlights of watching Taiwan. It's hard to imagine one my happiest moments of supporting my adopted country came in a 7-1 loss, but it is difficult to explain the feeling of seeing Taiwan, score against Australia, and take the game to them.

For a short time, that goal did have the match at 2-1. However, Australia showed superior fitness, game knowledge, and ruthlessness, but was what had been expected the long journey down to the south of Taiwan in the city of Kaohsiung. The one player in Taiwan's side who was still busting a gut come the end of the match was that man Chen.

Taiwan ran out of steam, but my lasting memory of that night in Kaohsiung was Chen's power header that gives Matt Ryan no chance of saving it. cue, wild celebrations in the end with the 30 odd ultras!

This match alone showed a future that Taiwan could have. A player of Chen's determination has come through the system when not a lot of impetus was put on giving players a big chance of doing well while coming through the scheme. This has improved slightly and the hope is that it continues to improve throughout the future.

That night in Kaohsiung, for a short while, Taiwan took the game to the Aussies until they ran out of steam. All we can dream of is that one day we have a full team of warriors like Chen Yi-Wei, giving Taiwan a much better chance of being more successful. 

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