Guangzhou: Former Brazil international midfielder Paulinho, who helped Guangzhou Evergrande to the AFC Champions League title in 2015, has terminated his contract by mutual consent with the Chinese Super League club due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The 32-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona player had two years remaining on his deal with the club – now known as Guangzhou FC after a name change at the end of last year – but had not featured in the current Chinese Super League campaign due to restrictions in place as a result of the pandemic.
2021 AFC Champions League (East): Five Forwards in Form
Kuala Lumpur: As the big kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions League rapidly approaches, the-AFC.com takes a look at the strikers who are poised to make a difference in the eastern side of the continent.
With no shortage of attacking talent on display, we shine the spotlight on five frontmen who are on fire in their clubs’ domestic campaigns and could be set to bring those hot streaks onto the Asian stage in this year's continental club competition.
Tashkent: Uzbekistan's capital welcomes Japanese champions Kawasaki Frontale, Korea Republic's Daegu FC, United City FC of the Philippines and China PR's Beijing FC to Group I of the 2021 AFC Champions League with the action kicking off on Saturday.
Three J1 League titles in the past four years and leading the way this time, Kawasaki will look to bring domestic dominance to the continent, while Daegu return for a second time, Beijing rely on youthful zest and United City are set to make their long-awaited debut in the AFC Champions League.
Tashkent: The kick off to the 2021 AFC Champions (East) is now just days away with the four teams in Group H beginning their campaigns in Uzbekistan on Friday.
And it's a group with plenty of pedigree as two-time AFC Champions League winners Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of Korea Republic and 2008 champions Gamba Osaka of Japan lead the cast. The pair are joined by Thailand's Chiangrai United, who return for the second successive year, and Singaporean debutants Tampines Rovers.
Buriram: Thailand's Buriram Stadium will see hosts Port FC welcome China PR's Guangzhou FC, Hong Kong champions Kitchee SC and Cerezo Osaka of Japan to Group J of the 2021 AFC Champions League with the action set to kick off on Thursday.
The 2021 edition sees Port make their long-awaited debut in the AFC Champions League while Kitchee return for the first time since 2018 boasting a continental superstar with a record in his sights.