Kuala Lumpur: From wily veterans to willing novices, the men charged with leading the 40 nations seeking to advance to the next phase of qualifying for the the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 will be putting the finishing touches to the preparations as the countdown to kick off the second round of the Asian Qualifiers ticks ever louder.
The range in know-how between those taking part is vast, and no one brings more experience to the campaign than Marcello Lippi, the man who led Italy to their fourth world title in 2006 and who is charged with ending China PR’s lengthy FIFA World Cup drought.
Lippi, of course, has been here before. The 71-year-old was appointed China coach in November 2016, two games into the final phase of qualifying for Russia 2018 and immediately sparked an upturn in the team’s fortunes before narrowly missing out on qualification......
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