Chinese defender Zhang Enhua (right) in action during their Group A match against Saudi Arabia in the 16th World Cup Asian qualifiers finals in Dalian, China on Oct 3, 1997. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING – Zhang Enhua, former captain of China’s men’s national soccer team, has passed away in Shenzhen at 48, according to a source close to his family.

The defender was born on April 28, 1973. He was capped 59 times and scored five for Team China, and was an important member of China’s squad for the 2002 World Cup Finals.

Having worn the skipper’s armband for both the national team and the Dalian Club team for many times, Zhang won several league championships and held a record of 55 matches undefeated with Dalian.

Zhang Enhua (second right) jumps up for the ball during the game between Dalian and Shandong Luneng in the 22nd round of the Chinese first-vision league on Sept 17, 1998. [Photo/Xinhua]

Since late 2000, Zhang had played for Grimsby Town Football Club in England’s League One for about half a year. After his retirement in 2006, he focused on the youth training program.