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A look at Lippi's appointment as coach of Chinese men's national football team

Reporter: Mike Fox 丨 CCTV.com

10-28-2016 15:49 BJT

Today sees the new coach of the Chinese men's national football team, Marcello Lippi, hold his first press conference since his appointment last week.

A promising start against South Korea in their first second round match of world cup qualifying was followed by an embarrassing 1-nil defeat at home to Syria and then a 2-nil loss in Uzbekistan. The disappointing results caused coach Gao Hongbo to resign leading the CFA to turn to the Italian.

It's easier to name the trophies this man hasn't won. A mediocre career as a player but one of the best coaches the game has ever seen.

Marcello Lippi is now the manager of China having agreed terms with Chinese F.A. last week and already those involved in the game here have high expectations.

68-year-old has history of transforming struggling sides
 
But, like always in Chinese football right now, a lot of the talk has been about the 68-year-old's salary.

The World cup winning coach will earn 20 million Euros from both his new job and his current role as Guangzhou Evergrande's director or football, putting him above the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as the games highest paid figures in the dug-out.

But what can fans expect from the man who has been tasked with turning around the fortunes of the PRC's national side.

Former China coach Zhu Guanghu said:"Lippi knows the Chinese Super League and Asia which is an advantage. He also guided Guangzhou Evergrande to the AFC Champions league title and three straight CSL titles.

"He coached the team to develop oppressive and aggressive playing methods. His players used an offensive style on defence to win the ball and get into the opposition's area through quick attacks that created opportunities to score.

"I think considering everything including his control of his teams, proves that he is the best person for the position and heavily favored. Lippi also brings hope for Chinese fans. He has his own ideas on football and different coaching methods, both in techniques and tactics.

"And he is capable of controlling the team. So I think he could introduce advanced ideas to the Chinese game. And he will make plans based on the current players' abilities as he knows China and our advantages. I believe he can bring a huge change for the national team during the following matches. And he could help them develop in techniques and tactics." 

Former Evergrande boss won 3 CSL titles, AFC Champions League

The fact of the matter remains, China's situation in their bid to get to their second world cup finals is a bleak one.

12 points from 6 remaining games are needed if they want to stay in with a chance of clinching a play-off spot and recent performances against Syria and Uzbekistan suggest that even the brightest football brains may not have the time to overturn the campaign.

Still, with Lippi at the helm anything is possible and if there is going to be a Chinese contingent in Russia in 2 years time it will be down to the man who knows what it's like not just to lead a team to finals, but to lift the trophy.

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