China has reasons to cheer

China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-11 09:38

Foreign exchange

Roberto Martinez, Belgium's Spanish coach. [Photo/VCG]

China has had eight foreign coaches since Klaus Schlappner became the first non-Chinese boss of the national team in 1992. It hasn't always been a successful experiment, but Russia 2018 has shown that managers holding foreign passports can prosper on soccer's biggest stage. The best example of this has been Roberto Martinez.

The Spaniard's tactical acumen and pragmatism have allowed Belgium to unlock its potential, having progressed to the last four of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.

Other foreign coaches to lead their teams into the last 16 were Norwegian Age Hareide (Denmark), Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio (Mexico) and Argentine Jose Pekerman (Colombia). Kudos also goes to Argentine Ricardo Gareca for guiding Peru to its first finals in 36 years.

The performances of those teams gives China every reason to believe that its strategy to look beyond its own shores will yield results. Current boss Marcello Lippi, who guided Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, deserves every chance to instil his philosophies and methods in the national setup.

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