Marcello Lippi Named as China National Team Coach

By Ned Kelly, October 22, 2016

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Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has been named as the new coach of the Chinese national team, the Chinese Football Association has announced.

The appointment of the 68-year-old follows the resignation of Gao Hongbo, and World Cup qualifying losses to Syria and Uzbekistan. The defeats left China's hopes of reaching Russia 2018 in tatters.

Sitting 78th in FIFA's rankings, China have claimed just one point from four games and lie bottom of a group which also includes Iran, South Korea and Qatar.

Lippi steered Italy to World Cup triumph in 2006. Perhaps more pertinently, he won three consecutive Chinese Super League titles with Guangzhou Evergrande between 2012 and 2014, and the Asian Champions League in 2013.

Rumors abound that Xi Jinping gave the appointment the green light. The president has openly declared his ambitions for China to qualify for the World Cup, as well as hosting the event and one day win it.

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