Shanghai - Brazilian
football star Alexandre Pato celebrated Tianjin Quanjian's victory in
the AFC Champions League with a very public attempt at wooing the
Chinese actress Dilraba Dilmurat.
The 28-year-old Pato and his team-mates held up a poster showing two
pictures - one of him and one of Dilmurat - as Tianjin supporters
chanted her name following Wednesday's 4-2 home victory over Jeonbuk
Motors of South Korea.
The poster - it was unclear who made it - had a message on it
imploring Pato to play well because "Dilraba is watching the live
Tianjin fans then bombarded Dilmurat with messages on Weibo, China's
equivalent of Twitter and where she has nearly 40 million followers,
urging her to reciprocate Pato's interest.
Dilmurat, 25, a popular television and film actress, did not respond
and reports say that she is yet to cave in to Pato's overtures.
Last week, Pato, a former AC Milan star who has rejuvenated his
career in China, posted a message on Weibo to Dilmurat saying in
Chinese: "I can't forget you are one of the most beautiful Chinese."
Tianjin fans, who saw their side win thanks to two late goals from
Pato and the French striker Anthony Modeste, did their best to help
"Pato scored again. You go reply him little sister," wrote one Weibo user to Dilmurat.
Another asked her: "Raba, did you see Pato's performance?"
But not everyone was amused by Pato's attempts to get the attention
of Dilmurat, who is from China's traditionally Muslim region of
Yu Yuyang, a reporter with Oriental Sports, a major Chinese
publication, said on Weibo that Pato's behaviour was inappropriate and
"it is debatable whether this has anything to do with football".