CHINA TOPIX

Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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China’s new Soccer Coach Marcello Lippi Aims to Improve Player’s Mental Strength

Marcello Lippi's Goal for Chinese Team.

(Photo : Getty Images) Ahead of his first match as a manager of Chinese football on Tuesday, Marcello Lippi has said that he aims to improve the mental strength of Chinese players.

Marcello Lippi plans to focus on improving the mental strength of Chinese players as he is set to take charge of his first game. China will take on Asian minnows Qatar in a World Cup 2018 qualifying match in Kunming on Tuesday.

The match will be the first official match for China since Marcello Lippi was unveiled as the new coach of the Chinese national football team.

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"The most important key for my success at Guangzhou Evergrande was to create a very strong mentality and that is what I have to do with the national team as well," Lippi said. "Only if you have a very strong and positive mentality can you achieve great success. We are going to put a lot of effort into building a strong mentality for the national team."

Lippi was given a four-year contract last month by China's soccer governing body with his immediate goal being to rescue China's fading World Cup campaign. The Chinese national team has lost most its qualifying matches and is now in real danger of losing a spot in the 2018 World Cup.

Lippi is no stranger to success, having achieved substantial success at International as well as club level. He won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and consolidated his reputation as a "shrewd manager" with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande from 2012 to 2014.

But the former Italian manger's appetite for success will be again tested, as he will try to motivate the Chinese soccer team to qualify for the Fifa World Cup since 2002. He will also look to resurrect the Chinese national team's reputation at the international level, which is still a far cry despite President Xi Jinping's unprecedented patronage of football.

China's current stature at the international level can be gauged from the fact that it has failed to reach the finals of Asia Cup since 2004. The consistent failure at the international stage has cost the jobs of several coaches.  

Lippi said that his past stint in China lured him to take the post of head coach of the Chinese national team. He promised to improve the status of Chinese football team despite all the ominous challenges in his way.  

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