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New Coach to Bring China's Football Team to World Cup


After decades of frustration, China's football team will finally compete in a World Cup tournament. The Serbian man who guided them there has a wealth of experience.

Many know him simply as Bora. In China, they call him Milu. He is Bora Milutinovic, the only man to coach four different World Cup teams into the second round. His previous successes came with Mexico, Costa Rica, Nigeria and the United States.

The Chinese are in a difficult four-team group for first round World Cup play, with perrenial power Brazil, Turkey and Costa Rica.

But international football commentator Derek Rae said China should have a lot of fans for its games in South Korea. He said, "They are going to be one of the most interesting teams at the World Cup, I can tell you. And as far as supporters are concerned, they are going to have a large number traveling over to South Korea. Preparations are well under way for that, and a large media contingent as well."

Rae said top Chinese players include defenders Fan Zhiyi, who has played professionally in England and Scotland, and Sun Jijai with England's Manchester City. "This is not a team of stars," Mr. Rae continued. "This is a team that Bora Milutinovic has been able to build. He deserves tremendous credit for just getting them to this stage, and I think anything else would be a huge bonus."

Derek Rae said that a lot of China's World Cup preparations have been done behind closed doors. But that is Coach Milu's style, so Rae says China will be a relatively unknown quantity when it takes for the field for its first World Cup.

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