Muriqui impresses for Evergrande - "It's a shame he's not Chinese"
Following his starring role in Guangzhou Evergrande's 3-0 dismantling of J-League giants Urawa Reds in the opening round of the Asian Champions League, the Chinese media has piled praise upon Brazilian forward Muriqui.
Muriqui, 26, joined the Cantonese side in 2010 and became the club's all-time record goalscorer on Tuesday evening with his 49th goal for the club.
His performance, in which he assisted the opening goal for Paraguayan Lucas Barrios and also played a role in the final goal, led many to bemoan the fact he is not yet eligible to play for the Chinese national team.
The calls were echoed by former Chinese international forward Li Yi who suggested that the country attempt to bring Muriqui into the national team. Muriqui has previously suggested that it is a possibility he would consider.
Muriqui's performance on Tuesday night also impressed opposition manager Mihailo Petrovic who said of the Brazilian: "We couldn't defend against him. We had arranged a player to mark him, but there were too many mistakes."
China should not fear, though, if Muriqui cannot be brought into their national team setup—an alternative has already been found.
The striker celebrated his goal in the encounter by sucking his thumb and placing the ball under his shirt, with his wife set to give birth in just over a month's time.
Ingenious users of social media in the country are already suggesting that his child be fast-tracked into the Chinese footballing system.