On 6 July 1977, Li Jinyu was born in Shenyang, China. He has gone on to become the Chinese league's all-time top scorer.
A striker, Li started his career with his hometown club Liaoning FC in 1999 (though he spent his first season in France on loan with AS Nancy). He stayed with Liaoning until 2003, scoring a total of 46 goals in 100 league appearances. His best season there was 2002, when he claimed the league's Golden Boot with 27 goals.
Before the start of the 2004 season, he moved to Shandong Luneng, where he continued his scoring streak. In that first season, he knocked in 21 goals and claimed his first silverware with an FA Cup and Chinese Super League Cup double. After a slump in 2005 (only 17 goals), his form returned in 2006 with 26 goals, the league title, and another FA Cup.
In 2007, Li became the league's all-time top scorer, beating the previous record of 96 set by Hao Haidong. Before his retirement in 2010, he extended the record to 120 goals in 251 appearances. He also added to his trophy cabinet, winning league titles in 2008 and 2010.