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Luneng' s new coach Cuca eyes on Asian champion

English.news.cn   2014-02-16 20:46:34

JINAN, Feb. 16 (XINHUA) -- "I want to lead my team to AFC champion," said Cuca here on Sunday, as new coach of China Super League' s Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C..

Cuca, nickname of Alexi Stival, joined Luneng under a 3-year-deal, and his annual salary was believed to be over 4 million Euros.

Cuca of Brazil, along with Atletico Mineiro secured third place at the FIFA Club World Cup in Marrakech with a 3-2 victory over Guangzhou Evergrande last December. Mineiro also won South American champions under Cuca.

"I want to have a successful season here like in Mineiro, and lead the team to AFC champion," said Cuca, adding he was very aware of his task.

As to Cuca' s mission, Cuca explained that he would try his best to lead the team to win all titles in 2014. Luneng set an aim as "in search of excellence in 2014" , while the club would play in three events, such as AFC championship, China Super League(CSL) and FA Cup of China.

Shandong Luneng Taishan F.C., four times champions of CSL, finished behind Guangzhou Evergrande for the second place last season. Shortly, Luneng reshuffled the team with a new manager and several fresh foreign signings.

"Antic is a very good coach, but we want more," said an official of Luneng on the removement of Antic. Serb Antic seized his new contract with Luneng automatically after advancing into AFC championships in 2013, but the club said "No" despite a large sum of cash as fine for breach of contract.

Luneng, famous for its abundant football talents, hoped to strengthen its advantages in training young players by hiring a Brazilian coach.

"We need a coach who can set up a platform for our young talents, because Luneng not only values success in all leagues, also want more outstanding young footballers," said the official with Luneng.

"Cuca is such a coach that meet our criterion," the club official noted.

Meanwhile, Luneng signed three domestic players and three foreign players in order to achieve good performance on the pitch, with about 25 million USD as transfer fee.

In addition to changes inside the team, Luneng also made a lot efforts in upgrading its young players training programme.

Accordingly, Luneng had already reached agreement with Brazil' s Sao Paulo F.C. and Santos F.C. in training young talents. Sao Paulo' s coaches started their work at the beginning of 2014 in Luneng football school.

Luneng has always been a steady pool of players for domestic clubs with a their football school, and they have started to send players to Portugal's FC Porto for advanced training.

"I am very satisfied with the team, especially we have a lot players in China' s U20 team," Cuca also spoke highly of the club and its young players. In his opinion, several players in Luneng team like Liu Binbin, Wang Tong, Wu Xinghan could play in Brazil leagues.

Editor: Fu Peng
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