Apple News Facebook Twitter 新浪微博 Instagram YouTube Tuesday, Dec 25, 2018

Chinese head coach: FIFA World Cup, I have confidence

(Xinhua)    09:12, December 25, 2018

GOLD COAST, Australia, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- "The more I know about women's football, the greater pressure I could feel," said Jia Xiuquan, head coach of Chinese women's football team, during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Jia, 55, was captain of China's football team during his player career. He was also among the earliest Chinese footballers to play in overseas clubs.

Now he has a new task: to bring the women's football team to the World Cup in France next year as far as possible.

"Development of women's football across the world is really fast," he said. "I have worked as coach for half a year. By studying our opponents, we feel that we are not among the best of teams."

But he was satisfied with devotion of the players he works with.

"I am grateful for the trust of the players and their devotion," he said. "We prepared for the Asian Games in Dalian of northeast China's Liaoning province, when it was very hot. We had training under the scorching sun, and ended every day at dusk. After many days the players were tanned so seriously that even their acquaintances could hardly recognize them."

Chinese women football team is now ranked fifth in Asia, and 15th in the world.

While in Australia, the players have training both in the morning and in the afternoon, and are scheduled to play ten matches against local clubs.

"Chinese women's football has good tradition and its own characteristics. So we should believe in ourselves," said the coach.

For next year's World Cup, the Chinese team was placed in Group B , along with South Africa, two-time world champion Germany, and rising contender Spain.

Jia, who was at the draw ceremony early this month, said he didn't believe they would be better off if switched to other groups, because no matter which group they are in, they will have to face one of the top six teams of the world. So they should only improve themselves.

"How should we prepare? What tactics should we use? With only half a year left, how can we shorten the distance with top teams like Germany? These are all what we would like to find out in Australia. We must know our advantages and disadvantages and find out with our players and staff the way to confront Germany," he said.

Jia told Xinhua that they would like to achieve the best result in France. "First we must make to the elimination stage, preferably as the No. 1 in our group," he said.

Difficult coexist with hope, just as on the road of rejuvenation of Chinese women's football. At its glorious era, the team was World Cup runner-up.

"Rejuvenation takes time," Jia said. "It needs efforts of generations of players and coaches."

"As for me," he continued, "since I have already agreed to do this job, I must try my best."

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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