China and In­dia in rare clash

The Nation - - SPORT -

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.

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