Football

Dong Fangzhuo.

Dong Fangzhuo undergoes facial surgery after being mocked for football failure

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The name Dong Fangzhuo will ring a bell with Manchester United fans of a certain age.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed the Chinese striker in January 2004 for an initial fee of £500,000 - rising to £3.5 million, depending on appearances - following the advice of scouts who’d watched him in action for Dalian Shide.

Billed as the ‘Chinese Rooney’ by some, Dong had also caught the eye of both Real Madrid and Inter Milan prior to his dream move to Old Trafford.

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However, comparisons with Wayne Rooney proved to be spectacularly wide of the mark.

United kept Dong on loan at Royal Antwerp for a couple of seasons, where he didn’t perform too badly, before he was added to the Red Devils’ first-team squad in January 2007.

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Chelsea gave Dong a guard of honour in 2007

The China international struggled to force his way into the starting line-up, however, with his sole appearance that season coming in a match against Chelsea in May 2007 when United had already been crowned Premier League champions.

Check out this amusing photo of Chelsea’s players performing a guard of honour for the likes of Dong, Chris Eagles and Kieran Lee.

Ferguson also handed Dong a couple of appearances during the 2007-08 campaign - including in the infamous 2-0 League Cup defeat to Coventry City - but it was patently obvious that he lacked the quality required to play for one of the world’s biggest football clubs.

Dong's career ended with a whimper

Dong was offloaded back to Dalian Shide in 2008 but the experience of playing for United affected his confidence and he was never the same player afterwards.

Manchester United's Chinese player Dong

His once promising career ended, sadly, with a whimper - but Dong’s tragic story doesn’t end there, unfortunately.

The reason Dong underwent facial surgery

The 31-year-old, who is now retired, recently appeared on Chinese television in search of a fresh identity.

Manchester United's Chinese forward Fang

According to Marca, Dong recently underwent facial surgery to “half the mockery he faced on a daily basis as a footballing failure”.

And there’s photographic evidence on Twitter to prove this genuinely happened…

You have to admit, surgeons have done a pretty decent job of ridding Dong of his haunted expression.

Let’s hope he now feels happier in himself and can learn to remember the positive aspects of his footballing career, rather than the negative.

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Topics:
Wayne Rooney
Dong Fangzhuo
Football
Premier League
Alex Ferguson
Paul Scholes
Manchester United
Ryan Giggs

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