Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato scored on his debut for Tianjin Quanjian, but the Chinese Super League outfit suffered a 3-2 defeat against Italian Serie B club Pisa – which is managed by Pato’s former teammate at Milan, Gennaro Gattuso.
The match was also the first managerial face-off between World Cup winners Gattuso and Fabio Cannavaro, who is currently at the helm of Tianjin Quanjian.
Tianjin Quanjian have made their ambitions known after securing a promotion to the Chinese Super League last year. The club brought in Pato from Villarreal and Belgian international midfielder Axel Witsel from Zenit Saint Petersburg.
They also made an attempt to sign Spanish striker Diego Costa from Chelsea during the January transfer window.
After the match, Fabio Cannavaro thanked his former teammate Gennaro Gattuso for arranging the friendly match between the two clubs but also admitted Tianjin Quanjin are still looking for another big-name striker.
Recently, several Europe-based strikers, such as Milan’s Carlos Bacca and Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic are linked with a move to the club.