Original title: Li Xiaopeng: Change yourself before starting to transform the national football team
On the afternoon of January 12, the new Chinese men’s football team kicked off the first training session in 2022 at the Century Park training ground in Pudong New Area, Shanghai. In the unprecedentedly large lineup of the national football team, the new coach Li Xiaopeng is undoubtedly the focus of the attention of the on-site media reporters. During the interview with the live media, Li Xiaopeng gave some answers to the hot topics of the outside world, such as the formation of the new national football team, preparations and personal goals. Li Xiaopeng, who used to talk humorously, seems to be very low-key at this moment, his speech is a little more serious, and his Mandarin level is much more authentic than before. It can be seen that Li Xiaopeng has endured more pressure after ascending to the higher coaching stage of the national football coach. Before embarking on the transformation of the national football team, he has personally made considerable changes.
“It is an honor to lead the national team in training games”
At 2:30 p.m. on the 12th, more than half an hour before the start of the first training session of the national football new year, dozens of media reporters from all walks of life poured into the training ground of Century Park. This is the first appearance of the new version of the national football team. When people come and go has become the norm of the national football team, coach Li Xiaopeng, the protagonist of the “newcomer”, is undoubtedly the focus of the media and all walks of life. What kind of new look will the Chinese team show under the background of a new combination of personnel and obvious adjustments to the management competition model? The answer to the question also requires the next preparations and the results of the next two rounds of the top 12 to give the answer. But before the team changed, Li Xiaopeng’s personal changes had left a deep impression on the on-site media reporters.
Different from the club version of Li Xiaopeng, who was used to speaking with a “Qingpu accent” in a humorous and surprising manner in the past, Li Xiaopeng, who has become the national men’s football coach, appeared calmly in front of the camera and microphone. Faced with the “bombing” questions from reporters, Li Xiaopeng kept his speech rate as slow as possible, but still occasionally paused in speech. It can be felt that being the head coach of the national team has brought a significantly heavier burden on his shoulders. As he said in his opening remarks: “It is indeed an honor to lead the national team in training and competitions, and of course the responsibility is extremely great.”
“I hope my coaching can inspire the players to play normally”
During the dialogue, Li Xiaopeng did not talk much. For this struggling team, he actually has no reason to be blindly optimistic. So for the next two top 12 games, his thoughts are real, “The most direct goal is to try not to fall off the chain during the Chinese New Year, and give fans across the country a satisfactory answer.” Of course, the most direct goal is also Li Xiaopeng The small goals in the eyes, as the new coach of the national team, there are still ideals.
When answering a question from a reporter from Beijing Youth Daily about the content of “near-term and long-term goals”, Li Xiaopeng replied: “The short-term goal is still the next two games, and strive to make all players have some good performances and be able to play their own things. Come out. What about the long-term goal? As a Chinese, I also hope that the national team can stand at the first-class level in Asia, at least every time it can enter the World Cup. The time for the whole team to concentrate is very short, and I will not rush to change because I want to And it brings some confusion to the players’ thinking. If I bring more injuries to the players because of improper training arrangements, it will be very bad. I hope to help the players in a short time to get ideologically and psychologically. Better recovery. For me, the most important thing now is to make my coaching worthy of these players, to inspire them, to make them perform at a normal level, and then it is not bad as a coach.”
When Li Xiaopeng was interviewed, more than 10 local coaches who were selected into the coaching team of the current national football training squad have been distributed in different areas of the training ground. Such a coaching team building model is relatively rare in the history of national football team building. Regarding this model, Li Xiaopeng said: “Many of these coaches are the first-line head coaches of the club. They have made a lot of personal sacrifices for this team to perform better in the next games. No matter what, our coaching team will be unified. Thoughts, everything is for the team to perform well.”
The most important thing to prepare for the top 12 is to play yourself
In the interview, Li Xiaopeng also focused on the preparations for the next two rounds of the top 12. Regarding the two internal teaching competitions to be held on the 16th and 20th of this month, Li Xiaopeng explained: “During the training camp in Shanghai, the most important thing is two high-quality warm-up games. In fact, only 46 players can come here, so According to the registration rules for the top 12, each team can only register for 20 ordinary players and 3 goalkeepers. Therefore, for this training camp, we will divide the lineup into two groups. The first game is to let the players of the delayed team find some form. , and the second game is a simulation game, allowing the opposing main team to run in the lineup in a simulated environment.”
According to Li Xiaopeng, the naturalized player Jiang Guangtai will go directly to the Japanese away game to join the team. As for whether the remaining naturalized international players can be in place before the game, he cannot guarantee. He said: “Privately, the naturalized players’ attitudes are very good, but there is no written (data) thing. So I can’t guarantee now whether they will go (away), even if they go, what is the status? I can’t ensure.”
Li Xiaopeng answered more directly on how to prepare for the next two top 12 matches at the technical level. He said: “The most important thing is to give full play to myself. I am the main player. Whether it is against the Japanese team or against the Vietnamese team, we must give full play to our own advantages, even if it is a short-term success. In fact, our coaching staff recently There are also meetings, including the experts from the Football Association to discuss these matters. Everyone has reached a consensus that the whole team must focus on the first game against the Japanese team. If we play well, it will improve the confidence of the players. For ourselves In other words, playing against the Vietnam team will not be particularly stressful.
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Jiang Guangtai is absent from training camp and will go straight to Japan away
As of noon on January 12, only 27 of the 52 people selected for the new Chinese men’s football training squad were on the team. Among the 5 naturalized (naturalized) players recruited, Luo Guofu, Exon, Alan, and Fernando missed the training in Shanghai because they were in Brazil, and the only one participated in the second stage of the Chinese Super League. Jiang Guangtai, a naturalized player, has now traveled to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to reunite with his long-lost relatives. Although it has been confirmed that he will not be able to participate in the Shanghai training camp, he will still go straight to Japan to join the team on the road at the end of this month and participate in the remaining games of the top 12.
Due to participating in the FA Cup final held in Chengdu last weekend, among the 16 international players from Shandong Taishan and Shanghai Haigang clubs, except for Haigang defender Wei Zhen, who was suspended on the spot, the remaining 15 players will meet on the 14th as required by the notice. Arrive in Shanghai to join the national football team.
Li Shuai, the defender of the Chinese Super League Lianren team, and Liu Ruofan, the forward of the Chengdu Rongcheng team of the Chinese Super League, will be postponed to Shanghai for a few days due to their participation in the second round of the Chinese Super League relegation playoffs on the afternoon of the 12th. Zhu Chenjie from Shanghai Shenhua Club will also be suspended for a few days due to injury.
Of the 5 naturalized (naturalized) players recruited, 4 had previously returned to Brazil for vacation and were confirmed to be unable to participate in the Shanghai training camp. The coaching staff of the Chinese team originally hoped that Jiang Guangtai, the only naturalized player who participated in the second stage of the Chinese Super League, could participate in this training session, but Jiang Guangtai has been training and playing in a closed environment with the national team and club team for a long time. I miss it very much. From the perspective of humanized management, his family, the Chinese Football Association, the coaches of the Chinese team and the management team agreed that he would go to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to reunite with his relatives there after finishing the league mission. After Jiang Guangtai arrived there, he will maintain a high degree of self-discipline, maintain training, and fly directly from Dubai to Japan around January 27, and then join the national football team.
Text/Reporter Xiao Xun of this Shanghai special telegram
Coordination / Photo courtesy of Du Rui / Xinhua News Agency