BEIJING, Dec. 26 -- In 2013, Chinese sportsmen, sportswomen and game players achieved breakthroughs in many fields. Here are five of the most significant:
1. Evergrande claim Asian title
Guangzhou Evergrande, the most-talked-about Asian soccer team even in the West, finally won the Asian Champions League title as most had expected.
Led by Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi, the three-time Chinese Super League champions became the first Chinese side to win Asia's top soccer title in its current format. With their South American trio - Dario Conca, Muriqui and Elkeson - Evergrande were undoubtedly the best team in Asia of 2013.
Captain Zheng Zhi was awarded the player of the year by the Asian governing body last month.
They also became the first Chinese club to take part in the FIFA Club World Cup.
In Morocco, they comfortably ousted Al Ahly, African Champions from Egypt, with a 3-0 victory in the quarterfinals. In this way they won an opportunity to face Bayern Munich in the semifinals. It turned out there's still a substantial gap between the Asian champions and their European counterparts: Evergrande managed a respectable 0-3 loss through hard work and plenty of luck, while Bayern's players hit the woodwork five times. In the third-place playoff, they lost controversially 2-3 to Atletico Mineiro, the South American champions from Brazil led by Ronaldinho.