Nico Yennaris has made history again by becoming the first foreign-born national to represent China.
Former Arsenal youngster Nico Yennaris, as expected, declared for China making him set to become the first overseas-born player to represent the Chinese national team.
The 26-year-old then started for China in their 2-0 win over the Philippines on Friday, something he said made him feel ‘very proud’.
Yennaris, who goes by the Chinese name Li Ke, was born in East London to a Chinese mother and a Cypriot father and came through the Arsenal youth ranks with Harry Kane. “Me and Harry played for the same local team, Ridgeway Rovers, then we both went to Arsenal. Then he left for Tottenham (aged 8),” Yennaris said.
According to a report in China Daily back in April, “China does not recognize dual nationality, so Yennaris has dumped his British passport. But he’s now eligible to play for his adopted country, currently ranked a lowly 74th by FIFA.”
Yennaris joined Beijing Guoan in January for around £5m from Brentford who paid Arsenal £90k for him.
He featured four times for the Arsenal first team and 52 times for the u21s before moving to Brentford at the start of 2014.