Victory against Vietnam more important than performance: former China captain

By Hoai Khong   October 4, 2021 | 12:43 am PT
Victory against Vietnam more important than performance: former China captain
China in the 0-1 defeat against Japan at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers game on September 7, 2021. Photo by Chinese Football Association
Former football star Li Weifeng suggests China should quickly improve and seek to defeat Vietnam in their upcoming World Cup qualifier game.

"This is a game that I don't care about the performance, but China must earn three points," Weifeng told news site

Just like Vietnam, China also lost their first two matches in the final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. A victory over Vietnam is a must for China if they don't want to be left behind on the table.

"Many people looked at Vietnam like they were in the 2000s. Their level is higher than we think. In addition, we haven't played them for a long time. Vietnamese players are very skillful and fast. They can switch formation very quickly," Weifeng added.

Chinese football has been on the decline for the past few years, at both national team and club level. Their domestic championship Super League is in a challenging situation as many clubs have been either bankrupted or forced to change their names due to financial difficulties, which affected the quality of their players. After two losses against Australia and Japan in September, Chinese media criticized the team, saying their form was only at 50 percent.

"The mentality of China players was not good and their teamwork was not efficient enough. On the other hand, Vietnam performed great against Australia. In that game, they had the same possession as China in the game with Japan, but double the number of shots," Weifeng said.

Weifeng, 42, is the most-capped player in the history of China's national team. He represented China at 2002 World Cup and became captain in 2004.

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