Swedish coach Sven-Goran Eriksson shook his head after being asked if he was interested in coaching China’s national soccer team.
“No – I was too shocked by China’s 1-5 loss to Thailand,” said the former England coach on Monday, who has just been appointed head coach of Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F.
“But China should find its own way in soccer. Each coach feels pressure after taking a new job. In China, it is becoming more challenging,” Eriksson said.
China has been putting a huge effort into cleaning up domestic soccer, including the launch of a crackdown on soccer gambling and game fixing.
A number of world-renowned coaches and players, including World Cup winner Marcello Lippi and former Brazilian MVP Dario Conca, have also been introduced in recent years.
“I didn’t watch the match (in which China suffered a big loss to Thailand two days ago). But foreign coaches certainly need to quickly get accustomed to local soccer culture so they can be successful in China,” he said.
Brazilian coach Farias, who led the South Korean club Pohang Steelers to the AFC Champions League in 2009, was removed from his coaching position at Guangzhou R&F in May, after poor performances since the start of this season.
“We are hoping that a Swedish coach can be more successful,” Lu said.
Lu said that Eriksson’s appointment was based strongly on his long-term development plans for the Guangzhou club.
“We contacted other foreign coaches before signing Eriksson. He expressed a strong willingness to improve the club this season.
“Most important, he plans to help us develop a strong team in the future,” Lu said.