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Li Tie brings total football to Chinese national team, says defender Wang

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-08-30 16:02
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Head coach Li Tie is seen before a Group A match between China and Guam at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province, in this May 30, 2021 file photo. [Photo/Xinhua]

DOHA - Chinese defender Wang Shenchao said that the biggest transformation head coach Li Tie has brought to the national team is the total football approach.

"What Li demands from us is total football, especially the attackers' positioning while we are defending," Wang told Chinese media on Sunday.

"For me, this is the biggest transformation he brought to our team," he added.

Former Everton midfielder Li took over the Chinese side in 2019 January after Marcello Lippi's abrupt departure.

He focused on players' fitness and has won approval for improving the Chinese side's physical durability.

Li had his contract extended to 2026 following guiding his side to the final round of FIFA World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers in June.

The 12 teams in the final round have been drawn into two groups, playing in a home-and-away round-robin format. The top two of each group will qualify for the World Cup finals in Qatar, and the two third finishers will play a home-and-away playoff, the winner of which enters a continental playoff.

China will face Australia in the first game of the final round qualifiers on Thursday in Doha. The other four teams in this group are Japan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Vietnam.

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