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Nation cannot hang all its soccer hopes on famous coaches

中国日报 | Updated: 2019-01-28 07:47
Team China players acknowledge their fans' support as they celebrate victory over Thailand at the AFC Asian Cup at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates on Sunday. Goals from Xiao Zhi and Gao Lin earned China a 2-1 win and a Thursday quarterfinal against Iran. REUTERS

Editor's note: After the Chinese national soccer team's 0-3 loss to Iran in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup on Thursday, Marcello Lippi will leave his position with China as his contract ends after the AFC Asian Cup. Beijing Evening News comments:

Reports show that Lippi was really angry at the result. He threw things in the changing room and blamed one player after another-Almost each of the players was blamed.

Lippi even roared himself hoarse and he spoke in a scratchy way at a news conference later.

All these details lead to one conclusion: Lippi lost all confidence and trust in the Chinese national soccer team. That's a sharp contrast to his confidence in December 2016.

The Chinese national soccer team has employed one famous foreign coach after another at very high salaries, yet its performance is still far from satisfying. Of all the problems these coaches have faced, three are common:

First, unlike its European counterparts, the Chinese national soccer team has little chance of entering major competitions, so its players have little experience of competing against other national teams. Most of the time, the players are playing friendly matches and they do not treat them seriously. As a result, the players are often "psychologically unprepared" when it comes to major competitions.

Second, facing a grave shortage of young players, the Chinese national soccer team relies too heavily on senior ones who are past their best. Lippi is reported to have searched for young players who could step up the national team in 2018, yet he could not solve this problem.

Third, the players who attend the Chinese Super League are on high salaries and although they work hard for their own clubs, they don't for the national team so as to avoid getting injured.

None of these problems can be solved by a coach alone. It is time to deepen reform of the Chinese soccer system as a whole.

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