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April 2, 2011

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China's Posh and Becks call it a day

China's Posh and Becks - Xie Hui, a retired professional soccer player, and his supermodel wife Tong Chenjie - are to divorce after seven years of marriage.

Xie, 36, and Tong, 30, who were often referred to as China's answer to David and Victoria Beckham, have already split up but have yet to complete the legal procedures needed to end the marriage, the Oriental Sports Daily reported yesterday. No reasons were given for the split.

Neither Xie nor Tong, both natives of Shanghai, was available for comment yesterday.

Xie, whose great-grandmother was English, was popular with female fans for his good looks and playing skills, two attributes he shared with the England player.

He was also, like Beckham, prominent in the worlds of fashion and advertising.

Xie, a forward who was a member of the national squad from 1996 to 2005, began his career with Shanghai Shenhua in 1994, and later played for three German clubs - Alemannia Aachen, Greuther Furth and SV Wehen Wiesbaden.

In 2009 he retired at Shenhua and became an assistant manager and spokesman for the club.

Last May, the couple said they were planning to start a family within a year but, since late last year, they have been rarely seen together in public.

Tong's microblog on hinted the romance was over. "One road, one person. It's nothing to be afraid when walking alone," she wrote earlier this year.

Neither has mentioned the other on their Sina microblogs since last November.


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