|Full name||Cao Tianbao|
|Date of birth||3 April 1982|
|Place of birth||Shenyang, Liaoning, China|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 0.8 in)|
|Playing position||Second striker|
|2011||→ Shenzhen Phoenix (loan)||25||(4)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 October 2017|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 June 2009
Cao Tianbao started his professional football career with Changchun Yatai in 2001 after he graduated from their youth team. He gradually established himself within the Changchun squad as they fought for promotion to the top tier, eventually achieving this in the 2005 league season when they came second in the league. Playing in the top tier, Cao found it difficult to start many games since the club brought in Elvis Scott and then Guillaume Dah Zadi as their main strikers within the club, nevertheless Cao found his role within the team as a prolific goalscorer coming off the bench and go on to win the league title in the 2007 season with the club. It was only with the introduction of Li Shubin as the team's new manager did Cao Tianbao actually establish himself as the club's first-choice second striker within the team and help guide the club to a runners-up position at the end of the 2009 Chinese Super League season. When the club brought in Shen Xiangfu as their next manager, Cao found himself dropped from the starting line-up once more; however, this time when used as a substitute he wasn't able to find his goal scoring touch and was allowed to leave for second-tier club Shenzhen Phoenix at the beginning of the 2011 league season. At the club, he was reunited with Li Shubin and was given the number 14 shirt once again. He was released by Changchun at the end of 2014 season.
In July 2015,Cao transferred to China League Two side Meizhou Hakka. In March 2016, Cao transferred to fellow China League Two side Shenzhen Renren. On 23 February 2017, Cao transferred to Chengdu Qbao.
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