Lippi set to coach China national team: report

Last year officials declared football a compulsory part of the national curriculum, with pledges to open 20,000 football-themed schools by 2017 with the aim of producing more than 100,000 players.

There has also been a splurge of Chinese investment in some of Europe’s top clubs — Inter Milan, Manchester City, Aston Villa, Espanyol and Atletico Madrid to name but a few — and some of the sport’s top stars have been lured to China.

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