Who is Xu Genbao?

After his recent investment into La Hoya Lorca CF we though you would benefit from a bit of background on the Ex Chinese Player and Manager.

With his promise of investment into more academies for the club this could be a massive leap forward for La Hoya Lorca, as we know the Asian fan base for football is huge. Could Xu Genbao help generate interest in the club?

Xu Genbao
Xu Genbao

Xu Genbao (born January 16, 1944 in Shanghai) is a Chinese football manager and a former international football player. He is the current founder, chairman and general coach of Shanghai East Asia football club as well as also being the owner of the Genbao Football Academy. While Xu Genbao was a Chinese international footballer, it was not until he became a manager and won the Chinese Jia-A League title with the China B team that he started to gain attention within Chinese football. This early success would lead to a Chinese national team appointment and then successful spells at Shanghai Shenhua and Dalian Wanda.

Playing career

Predominately a left back throughout his career, Genbao would mainly play for Nanjing Army Football Team and Bayi Football Team. The Chinese Cultural Revolution saw his career severely shortened; however once it ended he was able to resume his career and help win the league title for Bayi Football Team in 1974. He was even able to play for the Chinese football team in their successful qualification for the 1976 AFC Asian Cup.

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Early management career

After he retired he was given the opportunity to manage second tier club Shanxi Provincial Football Team in 1978, where after two seasons he was unable to help the team win promotion. He would take a position with the Huochetou Football Association until third tier club Yunnan Provincial Football Team offered him a position to manage them in the 1982 league, however he was unable to lead them to promotion and left soon after.


When he left Yunnan he returned to his training to become a professional manager, which led to him take advanced courses at Beijing Sports Institute from 1984 to 1986. When he finished he was given the opportunity to manage the newly formed China B team, which was essentially the Chinese youth team who were allowed to play in the league system. His time with them was extremely successful and he was even able to win the league title with them in the 1989 league season. Impressed with his leadership the Chinese Football Association would remove the Chinese youth team from the league and allow Xu Genbao to take the team to play international tournaments. This would then lead to Xu Genbao being offered the Chinese senior team position; however his reign was extremely short when the Football Association decided it wanted a more experienced manager in Klaus Schlappner to lead the team to the 1992 AFC Asian Cup. Nevertheless, Xu Genbao would stay with the Chinese team as an assistant until 1993.

Shanghai Shenhua

With the Chinese Football Association demanding the entire league system to be professional Shanghai Shenhua wanted Xu Genbao to help them in their transition at the beginning of the 1994 league season. He quickly enforced more professional techniques and tactics as well as developing a team able to fight Dalian Wanda’s dominance within the league. This would pay off in the 1995 league season when Shanghai Shenhua would convincingly win the league title for the first time in over thirty years. Xu Genbao’s personal desire to see better training techniques saw him decide to help found Shanghai Cable 02, a youth football team designed to improve the football techniques of young Chinese players. The following season back at Shanghai Shenhua, however was difficult for Xu Genbao and he was unable to replicate his success he had previously shown despite coming second within the league. Shanghai Shenhua would part ways with Xu Genbao and he would go on to join second tier club Guangzhou Songri in the 1997 league season where he immediately made an impact by aiding them to a 4th-place finish and promotion to the top tier.

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Dalian Wanda

When Dalian Wanda were looking for a replacement for their previously successful manager Chi Shangbin they quickly turned to Xu Genbao despite previously managing for their title rivals. In his first season Xu Genbao seemed like an inspired choice when he quickly imposed himself within the team and won them another league title in his first season as well as coming runners-up in the 1997-98 Asian Club Championship. The following season, however saw Dalian’s fortunes drastically change when they struggled in the league and flirted with relegation, which would see Xu Genbao resigning at the end of the season.

Return to Shanghai

He returned to Shanghai with second tier football team Shanghai Zhongyuan where he would lead them to the league title and promotion by the 2001 league season. Shanghai Shenhua who hadn’t won the title since Xu Genbao left wanted to bring him back hoping for him to replicate the success he previously had, Xu Genbao would decide that this was the perfect opportunity for him to sell and incorporate his now adult and professional football team Shanghai Cable 02 into the Shanghai Shenhua team. While most of the Shanghai Cable 02 players had a season of playing third tier football Xu Genbao’s desire to immediately merge them into the Shanghai Shenhua would prove to be a disaster during his reign and his temper did not bring out the best from his players. With Shenhua flirting with relegation he was essentially sacked from his post as manager with Wu Jingui taking over. Ironically the following season Shanghai Shenhua would go on to win the league title using many of the players brought from the Shanghai Cable 02 squad.

Shanghai East Asia

Xu Genbao would move away from management and founded a football school in 2001 called Genbao Football Academy, however after several years outside management he would return when he would go on to found Shanghai East Asia in 2005 where he named himself their head coach until 2009 when he took a step back and allowed Jiang Bingyao to replace him while he remained as their chairmen. After spending several seasons still in the second tier Xu Genbao would become impatient Jiang Bingyao and decided to become the head coach of the team once more at beginning of the 2011 league season.