The men’s football team will participate in the Asian Cup in the second half of the year, and the women’s football team will strive for success in the World Cup
2023 Chinese football will welcome seven major competitions
Saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new, Chinese football embarks on a new journey. In 2023, China‘s nationally famous men’s and women’s football teams will devote themselves to their respective preparations, and major competitions on various lines will follow one after another.
The tasks of the two national football competitions will be in the second half of the year
The fifth consecutive World Cup preliminaries, the national football team’s 2022 test results are undoubtedly failing. However, as the “disappointed child” of Chinese football, the national football team is the team that industry practitioners and fans pay the most attention to. After the Spring Festival in 2023, the rebuilt national football team will once again blow the rallying call to build up energy for the 2023 Asian Cup and the 2026 World Preliminaries. Although the answer to who will be in charge of this team has not yet been revealed, but the new national football team still has a heavy responsibility on its shoulders.
For the national football team, the Asian Cup and the 2026 World Preliminaries in the Asian region’s top 36 are the major tests to face this year. Although affected by objective factors, the Asian Cup originally planned to be held in my country this summer was changed to Qatar, and the game will not start until the end of this year at the earliest, but it is precisely because the competition cycle of the two major competitions is concentrated in the second half of this year. Therefore, objectively, it also brings relatively sufficient time for reorganization to the national football team that has been “unemployed” for more than 9 months.
As of now, the Chinese Football Association has not disclosed the specific goals of the National Football Association’s two competitions this year.
Two youth teams aim to go further
In the past year, the U20 national football team in the 2003 age group and the U17 national football team in the 2006 age group have successively entered the U20 Asian Cup and U17 Asian Cup finals, which undoubtedly brought some psychological comfort to the fans. Although affected by objective factors, the team formation and preparation work of the national teams of these two age groups has been affected to varying degrees, but both teams have implemented plans to go overseas for training and warm-up during the preparations. The higher-quality warm-up match helped the two teams improve their actual combat and resilience, which is also an important guarantee for them to enter the final stage of the competition.
As the saying goes, “Stupid birds fly first”, the coaching staff of the two teams drew up the preparation plan for the final stage as early as after qualifying for the qualifiers. On December 26 last year, the U20 national football team started a new training session in Chongqing. They will go to the UAE on January 16 to warm up with teams of the same age, including the UAE, Syria, and Oman. He will go to Croatia to practice until the end of February to Uzbekistan, the final stage of the U20 Asian Cup.
There is no doubt that the goal of the U20 national football team is definitely not to be a supporting role. Coach Antonio said, “Now that we have reached the final stage, there is no reason not to fight for tickets to the U20 World Cup.” Of course, for Antonio and his disciples In other words, the difficulty of “grabbing tickets” is much higher than qualifying for the qualifiers. The results of the group draw show that the opponents of the U20 national football team in the final group stage of this U20 Asian Cup are Japan, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan. Scoring points, even scoring goals, will be very difficult. From this perspective, even if the U20 national football team can achieve a victory in the group stage, it will live up to the expectations of the fans.
Like the U20 national football team, the U17 national football team led by Yang Chen also had an uneven road to qualifying for the Asian Cup qualifiers. They also entered the finals as the second best team in the group. So far, the results of the U17 Asian Cup final stage group draw have not yet been released, which has virtually brought difficulties to the implementation of the team’s preparation and warm-up plan. The calendar shows that the final stage of the U17 Asian Cup will be held in Thailand from May 3rd to 20th. Affected by factors such as the record of previous events, the U17 national football team will participate in the group draw as the fourth team. The possibility of the team entering the “group of death” is very high.
According to the plan, the U17 national football team will regroup in Yuxi, Yunnan after New Year’s Day, and go to Japan to warm up after the Spring Festival.
Participate in the Asian Games at home and strive to break through the fifth place
In 2023, another national men’s football team with high hopes is the Chinese men’s Asian Games team led by Serbian coach Jankovic. Affected by objective factors, the Hangzhou Asian Games football match was postponed to the end of September this year, which objectively gave the men’s Asian Games team more time to prepare for the match. The best result of the Chinese men’s football team in the Asian Games football match was the runner-up in the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games. Since then, especially in the past 20 years, the team’s best results in the Asian Games were produced in 2002. In the Busan Asian Games and the 2006 Doha Asian Games, they both ranked fifth in the end. The Chinese Men’s Football Asian Games team, which is fighting at home this time, will strive to break through the fifth record.
It should be noted that due to the close competition cycle of the Hangzhou Asian Games, the top 36 of the world preliminaries, and the 2023 Asian Cup, and the overlap between the Asian Games team and the national football team in terms of personnel recruitment, the two teams also need to rationally coordinate their preparatory plans objectively. Complement each other.
Expect women’s football to do well in the World Cup
In the past year, the Chinese women’s football team regained the title of the Women’s Asian Cup, and it is the most eye-catching team among the men’s and women’s national teams. Therefore, fans are full of expectations for the Chinese women’s football team to achieve another success in the Women’s World Cup in July 2023, win the Hangzhou Asian Games, and break into the Paris Olympics.
However, in addition to the joy, the Chinese women’s football coaching staff has also developed a new understanding of the competitive landscape of the world‘s women’s football. Taking last year’s Asian Cup as an example, the Chinese women’s football team went all the way through, and there is also a certain element of luck. Especially in the semi-finals and finals, facing rivals Japan and South Korea respectively, the Chinese women’s football team still has some technical shortcomings. With the rise of European and American women’s football in recent years, the competitive situation of the Women’s World Cup has also undergone obvious changes. During the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the Chinese women’s football team was already at a significant disadvantage when encountering strong European teams such as Spain and Italy. It is not surprising that the Italian team was eliminated from the top 8.
As the champion team of the Asian Cup, the Chinese women’s football team will get more attention from competitors in this year’s Women’s World Cup and Asian Games women’s football games, so the team will encounter more difficulties than last year. Based on various factors, the Chinese women’s football team should first strive to break out of the group in this World Cup, and then strive to rank among the top 8. In the group stage of this cup, the Chinese women’s football team will encounter the European powerhouses England, Denmark and a team that has advanced to the qualifying playoffs. This means that the team will face a severe test from the beginning of the group stage.
As for the Hangzhou Asian Games, it should not be a problem for the Chinese women’s football team to reach the semi-finals, but they need to be more careful in the semi-finals, because at this stage, they will have a high probability of encountering strong teams such as Japan and South Korea. In addition, the Chinese women’s football team will also participate in the Asian qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in the last quarter of this year. The competition rules show that the women’s football Paris Olympic preliminaries will be divided into three stages. The currently top-ranked North Korea team, Japan team, Australia team, China team, and South Korea team will directly enter the last stage. December 6th. The 8 teams will compete for 2 tickets to represent Asia in the Paris Olympic women’s football match through the final stage of the qualifiers. To a certain extent, the competition difficulty and pressure of this event are higher than those of the Asian Cup.
According to the plan, the Chinese women’s football team regrouped in Haikou on December 5 last year. In the next six months or so of preparation time, the team will go to Spain, Australia or New Zealand to participate in multiple high-quality warm-up matches.
Text/coordinator by reporter Xiao Nan/Wang Yong (Beijing Youth Daily)