China and India in rare clash
China and India together account for more than a third of the world’s population, but in football terms they are minnows often beaten by countries a fraction of their size.
Their struggles will be laid bare on Saturday when China host their Asian rivals in a friendly that the home side are under pressure to win, and win well.
China’s unbridled ambitions come from the top: President Xi Jinping is a big fan of football and has vowed to make the country one of its superpowers.
The man under most scrutiny is Marcello Lippi, 70, the handsomely paid but much-maligned China coach.