Fabio Cannavaro ready to make impact as Guangzhou Evergrande coach after Lippi's resignation
Sydney, March 3 (IANS) Chinese football club Guangzhou Evergrande coach Fabio Cannavaro on Tuesday said his team would show its quality against defending champions Western Sydney Wanderers in the AFC Champions League group H match here on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old Cannavaro is ready to make an impact after Marcello Lippi suddenly resigned from the Chinese club last week, reports Xinhua.
"Lippi won a lot in the past three years. I hope I can achieve the same results that Lippi got," Cannavaro said.
Cannavaro captained his country to the World Cup title in 2006 under Lippi. The Italian will take his first real test in the re-match of last year's quarterfinal when the Australian side stunned the star-studded defending champions 1-0 at home and lost 1-2 in Guangzhou to advance on away goals.
The Wanderers carried their momentum all the way to the final where they defeated Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia to become the first Australian club to win the tournament.
"We know very well what happened last year. We come here to play our match, to show our quality to play a very good match," said former World Player of the Year Cannavaro.
At Sydney last year, Lippi walked onto the pitch to confront referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan following the sending off of a second Guangzhou player. The Italian then was suspended for the second leg, as his team were eliminated at home,
"What happened last year is very rare, as a captain of his team, I know him very well. We are not used to this, it is something rare," said Cannavaro. He also said Lippi told him "a lot" about last year's quarter-final and the Wanderers, but his team will not be affected by the emotions and memories.
"We do not come here to think about revenge, we will play our game and play our good football," Cannavaro said. It is not easy for the Italian to form an ideal squad, and even harder to motivate the players in such a limited time after Lippi left.
"It is difficult in such a short time. But we started the season very strong by winning the first match against Seoul FC, that is a very good motivation for us," he said.
The good news for Cannavaro is that it appeared he had won respect and reliance from the players, at least his captain Zheng Zhi.
"We know Lippi, at his age, could be my father. He can't play football with us together in training, so sometimes we did have a generation gap. Cannavaro is just several years older than us, he always joins us in training and we can discuss together and play together," said Zheng.