Spain's Camacho named new China football boss

14 August 2011 04:30

Former Real Madrid and Spain boss Jose Antonio Camacho will take over China's beleaguered national football team, according to state media, as the Asian nation sets its sights on the 2014 World Cup.

The 56-year-old replaces Gao Hongbo and will be tasked with improving China's poor football performance at a time of crisis for the top league, which has been dogged by corruption right up to the highest echelons.

Camacho coached the Spanish national side between 1998 and 2002, leading them to the quarter-finals of the 2000 European Championships and the 2002 World Cup.

The Spaniard arrived in Beijing over the weekend and is expected to sign a three-year contract with the China Football Association, the China Daily newspaper said on Sunday.

"Our goal for the moment is to try to qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil. But we have a long-term plan for the future," he was quoted as saying as he arrived at the airport with an assisting coach and a physical therapist.

China has a consistently poor record in football, to the dismay of the many fans of the sport in the world's most populous country.

The national team did not make it to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and this year failed to reach the knockout stages of the Asian Cup in Doha.

But things have started to look up recently, with the Chinese unbeaten in five friendly matches with wins against Honduras, Uzbekistan and North Korea.

In less than three weeks, China face Singapore in the 2014 World Cup Brazil Asian qualifiers.

Source: AFP