Queiroz full of praise for Lippi ahead of Key China match

March 26, 2017

Islamic Republic of Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz has praised China counterpart Marcello Lippi ahead of the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifier between the two nations, adding that the Italian’s presence is sure to benefit the game in Asia.

Since being appointed in October last year, Lippi has reignited China’s bid to reach Russia 2018 thanks to a 0-0 draw with Qatar and, most recently, a vital 1-0 home win over Korea Republic.

That success over the Koreans left China occupying fifth place in Group A, and although table-topping Iran are favourites to take all three points at the Azadi Stadium on Tuesday, Queiroz is under no illusion as to the difficulties that await his team.

"Lippi has been everywhere in football and he will make China a stronger and more intelligent team," Queiroz told the South China Morning Post.

"We know that China will be well-organised and will be compact in defence. We have to be patient to try and break them down but also be careful of their counter-attacking.”

Queiroz, who helped steer Iran to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, also believes that having a coach of Lippi’s calibre plying his trade in Asia can only be good for the continent as a whole.

"It is good for Asian football that Lippi is here,” he said.

"The way world football and the schedule of international games is organised, it is difficult for Asian teams to compete with the traditional strong nations in Europe and South America but it helps to have some of the best coaches working here.

"They can help raise the level and make Asia more competitive."

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