Espanyol signs Wu Lei, 2nd Chinese to join Spanish league

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              China's defender Wu Lei, right, duels for the ball with Thailand's defender Chalermpong Kerdka during the AFC Asian Cup round of 16 soccer match between Thailand and China at the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Espanyol says it has signed striker Wu Lei, the second Chinese player to join the Spanish league.

Wu has been playing for Chinese club Shanghai SIPG, where he thrived for several seasons. The 27-year-old player was the league’s Golden Boot winner last year, and its top Chinese scorer for five straight seasons.

Wu scored two goals in this month’s Asian Cup, where the Chinese were eliminated by Iran in the quarterfinals.

The other Chinese player in Spain’s first division was Zhang Chengdong, who played briefly for Rayo Vallecano in the 2015-16 season.

Espanyol, owned by a Chinese businessman, did not immediately release details of Wu’s contract.

The Barcelona club is 15th in the 20-team standings with 24 points from 21 matches.