China’ s women football team aims to advance to the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympic Games, head coach Bruno Bini told a press conference on Tuesday before the team leave for training camp in France.
At the end of the one-month training camp in France, the team, dubbed “steel roses,” will play two warm-up matches against France and Canada, said Bini. The team will set for Sao Paolo on July 21 for the final preparation and may play one last warm-up game against Zimbabwe before the Olympic Games, he added.
However, Bini admitted that he hasn’t lined up the squad for the Olympic Games yet, thus everyone must convince him by doing their best. “The line-up will certainly include four defenders, five midfielders, and one striker,” the 62-year-old Frenchman told the press conference.
“It’s a bit early to talk about the starting eleven before I deciding who among the 26 can go to Rio,” he said. Among the 26 footballers, “some nine or ten are what I need,” he said, “but if anyone disappoints me in this stage, I will not hesitate to cross out her name on the list.”
He hopes everyone can keep training hard, said the coach. “Easy-going as I am, I’ m hard-hearted when it comes to making the squad. I will not show favoritism to anyone,” he said, “As I had told them before, not all my favorite players have a chance to get here, but I like everyone who makes it here.”
“The interest of the team is above my own preference,” he added.
Bini said he is also paying attention to how these footballers play. “My coach staff watch them play in the League every week,” he said, “but we can just watch how these five or six Brazilians play, while they can watch how the whole Chinese team play.”
“There is no boundary between countries now, and both teams need to try best,” he added.
The “steel roses” will kick off their Olympic journey by playing against the host Brazil on August 3.
Several footballers of the Brazilian team, including Raquel Fernandes and Darlene de Souza, are currently playing in Chinese Women’s Super League.