Before the start of the China Cup, Cannavaro said that fans

and media need to focus on long term development of Chinese soccer instead of what happens at the tournament.

Cannavaro said he sought out the opinion of Lippi, who now serves as an adviser, including player selection.

“The China Cup players are all those who had good performances in the previous rounds of the CSL, along with young players,” said Cannavaro.

“What we need is a sustainable system that will allow the best

coaches all around the world to work here in the future. It’s not a short-term play. It will take time.”

“It’s like building a house-the first job is to build a solid foundation,” he said

“Based on that, we can have success. Compared to Japan and South Korea, their plans started decades ago.

“They are 20 to 25 years ahead of China in terms of their soccer development.”

Another factor was that Cannavaro did not recall China’s best striker, Wu Lei, who is now playing for Espanyol in La Liga.

Other experienced veterans, such as captain Zheng Zhi, were passed over in order to make way for younger players.

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