December 29, 2018 / 9:33 AM / 6 months ago

Factbox - China at the Asian Cup

(Reuters) - Factbox on the China team ahead of the Asian Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Jan 5 to Feb 1:

FIFA world ranking: 76

Ranking in Asia: 7

Previous Asian Cups: 11

Best performance: Runners-up (1984, 2004)

2015: Quarter-finals

Nickname: Team Dragon

Coach: Marcello Lippi

Regular captain: Zheng Zhi

Player to watch: Wu Lei

Recent form:

Sept 7 Qatar 1-0 China Doha

Sept 10 Bahrain 0-0 China Riffa

Oct 13 China 0-0 India Suzhou

Oct 16 China 2-0 Syria Nanjing

Nov 20 China 1-1 Palestine Haikou

Dec 24 Iraq 2-1 China Doha

Fixtures:

Group C

Jan 7 China v Kyrgyzstan Al Ain

Jan 11 Philippines v China Abu Dhabi

Jan 16 South Korea v China Abu Dhabi

When Marcello Lippi took charge of China’s troubled national team a little over two years ago, hopes were high the World Cup-winning Italian could kick-start a long-overdue return to the upper tier of Asian football.

But, as the septuagenarian’s tenure draws to a close at January’s Asian Cup finals in the United Arab Emirates, the question is whether Lippi has made much of a difference at all.

While the former Juventus coach oversaw an upturn in fortunes in the early days of his reign, China go into the tournament in the midst of an indifferent run of form. [L8N1YV1DQ]

Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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