Li Tie

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Li Tie
Personal information
Date of birth (1977-05-18) 18 May 1977 (age 42)
Place of birth Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Club information
Current team
China (manager)
Youth career
1992–1998 Liaoning Youth
1993–1998 → Jianlibao Youth (loan)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2003 Liaoning 82 (0)
2002–2003 Everton (loan) 29 (0)
2003–2006 Everton 5 (0)
2006–2008 Sheffield United 0 (0)
2008 Chengdu Blades 24 (1)
2009–2011 Liaoning 46 (1)
Total 186 (2)
National team
1995–2007 China 92 (6)
Teams managed
2012–2015 Guangzhou Evergrande (assistant coach)
2014 China (assistant coach)
2015 Hebei CFFC (assistant coach)
2015–2016 Hebei CFFC
2016–2017 China (assistant coach)
2017–2019 Wuhan Zall
2019–2020 China (caretaker manager)
2020– China
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 August 2016
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 April 2016

Li Tie (simplified Chinese: 李铁; traditional Chinese: 李鐵; pinyin: Lǐ Tiě; born 18 May 1977) is a former Chinese international footballer who is now the current head coach of China.

As a player he represented Liaoning FC in the Chinese Jia-A League, Everton in the Premier League, Sheffield United in the Football League Championship and Chengdu Blades in the Chinese Super League before moving into management. Starting his coaching career as an assistant coach at Guangzhou Evergrande he would then move to the Chinese national team and then Hebei CFFC where he gained his first coaching position.

Club career

Liaoning FC

Li Tie began his football career at the age of fifteen, joining Liaoning FC's youth academy system in 1992. The following year he was sent to Brazil for a five-year training programme sponsored by Jianlibao and became the captain of the newly organized youth football team. Li started his professional career by playing for Liaoning FC and rose to prominence during the 1999 league season when Liaoning finished as runners-up within the league.


One of the highest regarded Chinese players of his generation, Li secured a loan transfer in a deal brokered between sponsor Kejian and Premier League side Everton in August 2002.[1] Despite initial skepticism at Merseyside, his first season as an Everton player was a surprising success. Then manager David Moyes played him in twenty-nine league games and started him in most of his appearances where his displays as a defensive midfielder helped the club achieve a seventh-place finish during the 2002-03 season.

Following Li's successful loan spell, Everton battled with his former club Liaoning FC to sign him on a permanent basis after the 2002-03 season and the deal was finally negotiated on 12 August 2003 when Li signed a three-year contract. Everton paid £1,200,000 for his transfer with two-thirds of the deal paid by sponsorships. The club's ownership let him move to the Premier League despite higher offers from Chinese clubs.[2] At the beginning of the 2003-04 season, Li's start was marred by a sending off against Arsenal on 16 August 2003 after only been substituted on for David Unsworth.[3] A series of injuries followed which meant that Li only played five league matches that season. The last injury, a broken leg picked up during international duty in February 2004, ruled him out for another twelve months. In January 2005, when Li made his return to the pitch by playing for Everton's reserve side against Bolton Wanderers, he lasted just forty-one minutes and required his leg to be reassessed.

In the summer of 2005, eighteen months since his last game for the Everton first team, Li played the full match against FC Gamlitz in a pre-season friendly. He made a number of other preseason appearances and looked as if he was finally coming back to full fitness. However, he never managed to break back into the first team despite playing regularly for the reserves and even earning another international call-up for the Chinese national team. In March 2006, Li underwent another operation to remove pieces of bone that had grown on his ankle during his time on the sidelines.

Sheffield United

In May 2006, Li was released by Everton and Sheffield United announced his signing on a free transfer in July 2006, agreeing to a two-year contract.[4] Following his move, Li spent some time training with China League One side Chengdu Blades, which was owned by Sheffield United, while waiting for his visa clearance. On 19 September 2006, Li made his first competitive club start since January 2004 by appearing for Sheffield United in a League Cup match against Bury.[5] However, Li did not make another appearance for Sheffield United afterwards due to his lingering injury.

On 12 October 2007, Li was told he could leave Sheffield United on a free transfer with then manager Bryan Robson saying, "He's not in my plans and he is free to go wherever he wants on a free transfer." Only two days later though, Sheffield United changed their mind on the decision and stated that he would stay at the club until the end of the season before having his future evaluated.[6]

Back to China

Despite reassurances to the contrary, Li did indeed move in 2008, transferring to Sheffield United's affiliated club Chengdu Blades to reinforce the team after their promotion to the Chinese Super League and made his debut in the opening game of the 2008 season against his former club Liaoning Whowin.[7] He scored first league goal in his football career in a 3-1 win against Shenzhen Shangqingyin in October 2008.[8]

After spending one season with Chengdu, Li decided to return to his hometown club Liaoning Whowin to help them in their promotion push back to the top tier. It proved to be an immediate success when he guided them to the securing the second tier league title and being promoted back to the top flight after only one season. He suffered an injury in October 2010 which ruled him out for the whole 2011 season. After not fully recovering from his leg injury, Li announced that he had decided to retire from football at the end of the 2011 season.

International career

Li was one of four players called up from the Shenzhen Youth for the final round of 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifiers by Qi Wusheng, along with Li Jinyu, Sui Dongliang, and Zhang Xiaorui. Li was already a veteran in the Chinese national team by the time the national team played in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Despite recovering from an injury, Li returned to competitive football in June 2006 with substitute appearances for the Chinese national team against Switzerland and France. He was once again called up to play for the national team in a friendly against Thailand on 10 August 2006 and in a 2007 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Singapore on 16 August 2006. Li remained as a part of the national side and was called up by Zhu Guanghu to play the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, but failed to make an appearance during the tournament.

Management career

On 25 May 2012, Li accepted an invitation from Guangzhou Evergrande manager Marcello Lippi to become one of his assistant coaches. He also became the assistant coach of the Chinese national team under Alain Perrin in May 2014.[9] He resigned from his position as assistant coach on 26 June 2015 after about three seasons with Guangzhou.[10]

Li became the deputy general manager, sports director and assistant coach at China League One side Hebei China Fortune on 14 July 2015.[11] On 18 August 2015, he was assigned as the manager of the club after Radomir Antić's departure.[12] Li led the club to win promotion to Chinese Super League in the 2015 season by winning eight matches in the rest of nine and finishing the runners-up in the league.[13] On 27 August 2016, Li was replaced by Manuel Pellegrini after winning just one match in the last nine matches.[14][15]

On 16 November 2017, Li was appointed as the head coach of China League One club Wuhan Zall.[16] In the 2018 season, he led the club to the Chinese Super after a five-year absence, being confirmed as champions and achieving promotion with three matches remaining in the season.[17]

He acted as caretaker coach of Chinese national team following the resignation of Marcello Lippi in 2019. On 2 January 2020, Li was appointed as the new manager of China.[18]

Career statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
China PR League FA Cup CSL Cup Asia Total
1999 Liaoning FC Chinese Jia-A League 24 0 - - 24 0
2000 25 0 - - 25 0
2001 26 0 0 0 - - 26 0
2002 7 0 0 0 - - 7 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2002-03 Everton Premier League 29 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 33 0
2003-04 5 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 7 0
2004-05 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005-06 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006-07 Sheffield United 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 1 0
2007-08 English Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0
China PR League FA Cup CSL Cup Asia Total
2008 Chengdu Blades Chinese Super League 24 1 - - - 24 1
2009 Liaoning Whowin China League One 22 1 - - - 22 1
2010 Chinese Super League 24 0 - - - 24 0
2011 0 0 0 0 - - 0 0
Total China PR 152 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 152 2
England 34 0 1 0 6 0 0 0 41 0
Career total 186 2 1 0 6 0 0 0 193 2

Management statistics

As of 1 December 2019[19]
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Hebei China Fortune 18 August 2015 27 August 2016 36 20 6 10 055.56
Wuhan Zall 16 November 2017 63 31 18 14 049.21
Total 99 51 24 24 051.52




Liaoning Whowin




Wuhan Zall


  • China League One Coach of the Year (1): 2018[21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Everton secure Li Tie deal". BBC News. 12 August 2003.
  3. ^ "Campbell off in Arsenal win". BBC News. 16 August 2003.
  4. ^ "Sheffield Utd close in on Li Tie". 6 July 2006. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Sheff Utd 1-0 Bury". BBC. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Blades keep Tie on". 14 October 2007. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  7. ^ "Li Tie to Re-appear on Domestic Pitch". 28 January 2008. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  8. ^ 成都3–1深圳止连败 汪嵩传射建功李铁中超首球 (in Chinese). 25 October 2008. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  9. ^ 李铁正式出任国足新助教 目标锁定明年亚洲杯
  10. ^ 李铁向恒大提出辞职 三年助教感谢三主帅信任
  11. ^ 河北华夏宣布李铁加盟 身兼3职任中方教练组组长
  12. ^ 河北华夏宣布安蒂奇下课 李铁成新任主帅
  13. ^ 李铁:带队9场8胜1平满意 明年中超是更大挑战
  14. ^ "Manuel Pellegrini appointed by Chinese Super League's Hebei China Fortune". The Guardian. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  15. ^ 华夏幸福官方宣布李铁下课 佩莱格里尼任主教练
  16. ^ 武汉卓尔官宣李铁成为新帅 新赛季全力冲击中超 (in Chinese)
  17. ^ 中甲-冲超!汉军归来!卓尔时隔五年重返中超舞台 (in Chinese)
  18. ^ "中国足协任命李铁为国家男子足球队主教练". 2 January 2020.
  19. ^ 李铁
  20. ^ "中甲最终积分榜:辽宁冠军南昌冲超成功 四川降级". 28 March 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  21. ^ 中甲联赛颁奖典礼在京举行 共颁出各类共17大奖项

External links

  • Li Tie at Soccerbase
  • Li Tie at Soccerway
  • profile
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