Former Arsenal and Brentford midfielder Nico Yennaris has become the first foreign-born player to be called up by the China national team.

Yennaris, who was born in London and played for England at youth level, is eligible for China through his mother.

He joined Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan from Brentford in January and was granted Chinese citizenship.

Known as Li Ke in China, 26-year-old Yennaris was also eligible to play for Cyprus through his father.

He will join up with Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi’s squad for their upcoming friendlies against Philippines and Tajikistan.

China have previously resisted calls to include naturalised players in their squad.


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