Chinese soccer team coach: We’re not good enough for the World Cup

0

Li Xiaopeng, head coach of the Chinese national football team. /APC

Li Xiaopeng, head coach of the Chinese national football team. /APC

Li Xiaopeng, head coach of the Chinese national soccer team, led the franchise to one draw and three losses in four 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying games in 76 days. The team again failed to reach the World Cup. Li admitted in an interview with China Media Group (CMG) that the Chinese national team is not good enough to qualify for the World Cup.

“That’s what it is right now,” Li said. me how to build a strong national team, so there’s no point in me talking about it. But if we keep wishing for surprises like a lottery, it may take us longer to achieve the goal of entering the world Cup.”

Li thinks his players have done their best, but he fears they are becoming indifferent to the losses. After playing 10 games at this stage of the World Cup qualifying tournament, China have won only one, drawn three and suffered six defeats, including against Vietnam 3-1 and against Oman 2-0 .

Wu Lei (#7) of China receives a yellow card during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match against Japan at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Saitama, Japan on January 27, 2022. /CFP

Wu Lei (#7) of China receives a yellow card during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match against Japan at Saitama Stadium 2002 in Saitama, Japan on January 27, 2022. /CFP

“I think that somehow we lacked the spirit to stick to a task with persistence,” Li said. “Like this time, from the last stage to this one, we had three managers for matches. I think it shows how difficult this job is.”

Li had very little time to coach the team when he took over. He tried to help his players gain confidence, but found that many of them often worried too much about the game suddenly collapsing.

“If the brave decision is worth 10 points and the safest decision is worth one point on the pitch, our players will go for the safest option,” Li said. from the football association, I kept telling them that our players could only show a maximum of 60% of what they were capable of during training.”

Li has already coached many national team players and he knows how good they are. “In the Chinese Super League, Wu Xi could manage Marouane Fellaini, Paulinho, Anderson Talisca and Renato Augusto. Our full-backs defended well against Alex Teixeira, Oscar, Hulk and Graziano Pelle. But in the national team, they couldn’t even stop a guy I can’t name. I can’t accept that,” Li said.

Chinese players look on after the 3-1 loss to Vietnam in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 1, 2022. /CFP

Chinese players look on after the 3-1 loss to Vietnam in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 1, 2022. /CFP

“Sometimes I ask them: ‘Do you play against Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after putting on the national team shirt?'” he added.

Many veteran players are on the verge of leaving the national team. Li said he learned a lot from them and these experiences will all be helpful for the development of Chinese football. In the meantime, he encouraged the younger generation to find a better league and improve there.

The next major tournament for the Chinese national team is the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup in 2023. Li revealed that when he was appointed as the head coach, the Asian Cup was his main task. He told CMG that he wanted to understand a lot of details, including franchise building and player selection, before making plans for the Asian Cup.

Zhu Chenjie (#20) of China vies with Zahir al-Aghbari of Oman for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex Stadium in Muscat, Oman on March 29, 2022 ./CFP

Zhu Chenjie (#20) of China vies with Zahir al-Aghbari of Oman for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying match at Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex Stadium in Muscat, Oman on March 29, 2022 ./CFP

“As a coach, it’s my responsibility to help the team through a smooth transition and leave a full squad for my successor when I leave,” Li said.

China only participated in one World Cup in 2002 and suffered so many setbacks before and after. “We have to face and accept the fact first before we think about making improvements. If we can assess attendance correctly, we are likely to take detours in the future,” Li said.

Share.

Comments are closed.