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Former China head coach calls for talent development following World Cup qualifier losses

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-14 10:43
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Former head coach of the Chinese men's team Zhu Guanghu [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - Former head coach of the Chinese men's team Zhu Guanghu, speaking on China's losses to Australia and Japan in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in earlier September, has called for more resources poured into talent development.

China may be the envy of Asia in terms of preparation for the 2022 World Cup, but not in producing quality players.

A lack of good players was believed to be the main reason behind their 3-0 defeat to Australia and 1-0 loss to Japan in their opening two games of the third stage of Asia World Cup qualification.

"Some deficiencies our national team players exposed in international games can be traced back to their formative years. We should put more emphasis on developing talent," said Zhu, who was in charge of the Chinese side from 2005 to 2007.

"For a start, we need to produce more quality youth trainers who can help produce quality players," he said.

Zhu also urged Chinese players to ply their trade in Europe in order to enhance Chinese football's competence.

He said he was made to sit up when seeing the telling contrast between Chinese and Japanese football described by Chinese ace striker Wu Lei, the only Europe-based player of the Chinese side, in his diary.

"When Wu Lei returned to Spain alone after the Japan game, he saw almost the whole Japanese team of players, at least 16 or 17 players, returning to Europe at the Doha airport," he said.

"If China has 20 to 30 players playing in Europe's top, second or even the third-tier leagues, our national team will be able to have consistent performances. We need to send more players to play in Europe," he added.

The Chinese team, except for the Espanyol forward Wu, is now camped in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates where they will play their home game against Vietnam on October 7.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, China moved their two home games to West Asia, with the first against Japan in Doha and the second against Vietnam in Sharjah. 

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