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A tale of two countries – Chinese footballers' British struggles

Updated: 2015-10-22 09:15

Li Tie – Champions League bench-warmer

Everton (2002-2006)

A tale of two countries – Chinese footballers' British struggles

File photo of Li Tie at Everton. [Photo/IC]

Li Tie's appearance at Everton in 2002 was a by-product of a sponsorship deal.

The former Chinese international went through the first season in Merseyside better than expected. Then manager David Moyes started the defensive midfielder on most of his 29 league appearances in the 2002-03 season.

The following three years, however, were marred by injuries. He only played five league matches in 2003-04 before a broken leg ruled him out for 12 months.

The almost forgotten player finally got called up for a Champions League qualifier on August 10, 2005, only to be benched and watch his team's 1-2 loss to Villarreal.

In July 2006 Li moved to Sheffield United where he spent another two injury-depleted seasons before returning to China in 2008.

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