Interview: China's captain expects to show their own style in Women's World Cup

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 23, 2023
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BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese captain Wang Shanshan said she feels stressed but will show their own style in the 2023 Women's World Cup, which is set to be held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20.

"It is deceptive to say that there is no pressure. This year's three major events are really very difficult for us," Wang, an Asia Cup champion and AFC's best lineup of the year 2022, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Later this year, the 33-year-old veteran and her teammates will play the Asian Games and Paris Olympic qualifications straight after the World Cup, in which China will face England, Denmark and Haiti in Group D.

"I think everyone is in a highly positive state now, and our goal is very clear. We are all working hard to prepare for the events," Wang said.

After the Chinese New Year holiday break, Wang started her busy schedule by joining a training camp with the national team in Guangzhou on January 26 and left for Spain on February 10 to play four friendly games.

In Spain, the Chinese women's football team defeated Real Betis 2-1 and Sporting de Huelva 4-0, but lost to the Swedish women's team 4-1 and tied a goalless draw with the Republic of Ireland.

"This is a good chance to warm up for the World Cup. We want to simulate playing against opponents like England and Denmark through these games to discover our problems and weakness.

"Their play is more direct, and their attack and defense are getting faster and faster, which is really a challenge for us. We try to figure out their play by watching analysis videos and then make some plans," Wang said, noting that European teams have made significant progress in recent years and their tactics are more masculine, which is the trend in women's football.

Wang underlined that she and her teammates would face tremendous physical and psychological pressure this year.

"There may be more physical pressure. The three events are very close, so it is essential for us to build up our body conditions in the early stage."

She added on the psychological side that the team's mentality has improved after the Asian Cup when she experienced many times falling behind and then coming back eventually.

"In fact, after the arrival of Shui Qingxia (head coach of the Chinese women's football team, who led the team to take the Asian Cup title), she has always emphasized that we should be confident and united," Wang said.

As the captain, Wang is helping young players integrate into the national team.

"It's in a stage of a succession of the new to the old in the team. I think it's good to have more young players come up and make the team full of vitality.

"I also hope the young girls aren't afraid and nervous. As long as they train well and play well, it's enough. In private, I talk with them about the training. If they have any problems, I am willing to help them at any time," she underlined.

Wang had mentioned to media that she would continue to play with domestic clubs, but she believes that players playing abroad is a good thing to the national squad.

"They go abroad, learn something different from other places, and combine with each other when they play in the national team. I think it benefits both individuals and the whole team," said Wang.

Talking about the Men's World Cup in Qatar last year, the Women's World Cup participant said that she admires Messi very much. "I think Messi plays a powerful leadership role, and it is beneficial to learn that. "

"He is 35 years old and can play full time in the games in World Cup, lead Argentina forward and make the team more cohesive. I think it is so important," Wang said. Enditem

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