- Title: Chinese fans have high hopes for Lippi
- Date: 23rd October 2016
- Summary: SHANGHAI, CHINA (OCTOBER 23, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 26-YEAR-OLD FAN CAO DONGDONG, SAYING: "I hope he can bring not just a change in the system or their capabilities but also bring hope to China's soccer scene. I think Chinese soccer needs hope. In terms of the World Cup qualifier, I don't think we should have high hopes but I think in the future there will be changes. I hope he can make the difference." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WALKING IN STREET (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 34-YEAR-OLD FAN XU YONGFENG, SAYING: "I still hold a sceptical attitude on whether there will be an immediate effect (after Lippi is appointed), as ability is not something that can be increased in a day or two. It is also not about just because the head coach is good, their abilities will therefore be increased. But I will continue to follow the Chinese national soccer team closely and wish them the best of luck." VARIOUS OF CARS RUNNING IN STREET
- Embargoed: 7th November 2016 09:24
- Keywords: China fans head coach Marcello Lippi
- Location: SHANGHAI, CHINA
- City: SHANGHAI, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0015585SN3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Chinese fans on Sunday (October 23) gave a guarded welcome to the appointment of Italian Marcello Lippi as coach of China's national team.
The Italian World Cup-winning manager replaced Gao Hongbo, who resigned this month after a 2-0 defeat in Uzbekistan dealt a further blow to the country's slim hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
No details of the contract were revealed but Lippi will be introduced to the media at a news conference in Beijing on Friday (October 28).
The 68-year-old, who won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, enjoyed a successful three-year spell with Guangzhou Evergrande, winning the Chinese League title three times and the Asian Champions League in 2013.
Lippi had been linked with a return to Guangzhou but the Chinese champions cleared the way for him to take the national team job when the club announced on Saturday they had agreed to terminate a contract signed early last month.
He will be China's third coach this year after Gao and Frenchman Alain Perrin, who was sacked in January, as the CFA bids to fulfil the ambition of President Xi Jinping for the country to qualify for the World Cup finals for a second time.
Lippi's first match in charge will be the World Cup qualifier against Qatar in Kunming on Nov. 15 but he will have his work cut out to resurrect their campaign.
"I hope he can bring not just a change in the system or their capabilities but also bring hope to China's soccer scene. I think Chinese soccer needs hope. In terms of the World Cup qualifier, I don't think we should have high hopes but I think in the future there will be changes. I hope he can make the difference," said Cao Dongdong.
Xu Yongfeng is not expecting an instant change in the team's fortunes, saying: "It is also not about just because the head coach is good, their abilities will therefore be increased."
At Evergrande, Lippi was handed a huge budget to bring in big-name European and Brazilian players, an option clearly not open to him with the national team.
Finding players to bolster China's goal tally - they have scored just two in their first four matches of this round of qualifying - will be a major challenge.
Of the top 13 goalscorers in the Chinese Super League going into this weekend's round of matches, only one - Shanghai SIPG's Wu Lei - was Chinese.
The loss to Uzbekistan left China bottom of the six-team Asian Group A with one draw and three defeats after four of 10 matches in the round.
The top two qualify directly for Russia in 2018 with the third-placed side offered a passage to the finals via two playoffs.
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