In order to prepare for the 1 Asian Cup, which will kick off on January 12 next year, the Chinese men's football team will gather in Shanghai on the 2023th of this month, and then go to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for about 17 weeks of training the next day. Head coach Jankovic decided to select 3 people from the 5-man squad to participate in the Western Expedition based on the first five training camps and 10 official international matches (including the first two rounds of the World Preliminary Round of 36). The specific candidates have been basically finalized.

In Abu Dhabi, there will be nearly 3 weeks of training

It is understood that the vast majority of the players selected for this training camp are international players who participated in the November training camp. However, considering that the overseas training time is long, and the players may have new injuries in the four warm-up games during this period, the coaching staff has added more alternative players for individual positions on the field, including a young goalkeeper, who is likely to be the former U11 national youth team main goalkeeper Jian Tao from Chengdu Rongcheng Club of the Chinese Super League. In addition, Wang Qiuming, Jiang Guangtai, and Li Shuai, three players who were absent from the last training camp and the first two rounds of the round of 4 due to physical reasons, are likely to return to the team. Those players who missed the November training camp due to non-physical reasons are likely to miss the Asian Cup for the team.

The Chinese team will gather in Shanghai on the 17th of this month, and then depart for Dubai, United Arab Emirates on the 18th, and finally arrive in Abu Dhabi by car. The team will have a training session in Abu Dhabi for nearly three weeks, during which they will play warm-up matches against some national teams or club teams, including Oman and India. After that, the team will move from the UAE to Doha, Qatar, where the Asian Cup will be held, on January 3 next year.

The specific candidates will be officially announced as soon as early next week

According to the relevant regulations of the AFC, each team participating in the Asian Cup must submit a preliminary list of players with at least 12 players and a maximum of 12 players by December 18, that is, one month before the start of the Asian Cup. Subsequently, each team must submit the official list of 50 players no later than 10 days before the start of their first group stage match (each team can make a final adjustment to the roster 23 hours before the first match).

A reporter from Beijing Youth Daily learned that as early as November this year, before the start of the round of 11 of the World Preliminary Championships, the national football coaching staff had preliminarily circled a 36-person alternative list of Asian Cup players based on the team's preparation and warm-up matches this year. A number of young players, including U50 youth players such as Eiffelding and some current players of the national Olympic team, are part of the squad.

Although the FA Cup final has been completed on November 11 as the finale of this year's domestic professional football, considering that the three Chinese Super League teams of Taishan, Three Towns and Zhejiang will still participate in the AFC Champions League group stage in December, the national football coach Jankovic did not select 25 people from the 3 candidate internationals until this week to form the team's westward lineup, and the specific candidates are expected to be officially announced as soon as early next week.

As it stands, the vast majority of the 26 players have participated in the national football training camp in November this year, or played in the first two rounds of the round of 11. It's just that players like Jiang Guangtai, Wang Qiuming, and Li Shuai, who have passed the assessment of coach Jankovic, but were absent from last month's training camp and games due to physical factors, will be added to the team's westward lineup.

The coaching staff will bring two more players to the trip

As we all know, Jankovic usually selects 24 players to participate in each training camp and the games in between. However, as the team will be in the UAE for nearly three weeks and participate in at least four warm-up games, the coaching staff decided to bring two more players in order to deal with possible injuries.

Considering the particularity of the goalkeeper position and the practice of each team recruiting goalkeepers during the competition, the national football coaching staff decided to recruit one more goalkeeper, that is, the fourth goalkeeper to participate in the Western Expedition. Judging from the performance of the alternative goalkeepers in the past season, Jian Tao from Chengdu Rongcheng Club of the Chinese Super League is likely to be this candidate. It would not be surprising if Jian Tao could be selected for the national football team for the first time. Prior to this, whether he represented the U20 national youth in the U20 Asian Cup or the Chinese Super League on behalf of Rongcheng, he showed a solid technical foundation and mature psychological quality beyond his actual age. Of course, if Yan Junling, Wang Dalei, and Liu Dianzuo are in good health, then Jian Tao is likely to play a "sparring partner" in the team's westward expedition for the time being, and his role is similar to that of Xu Haofeng, a young defender recruited into the team in the last training camp.

The remaining selected players are all familiar faces who have participated in various training camps this year, including striker Zhang Yuning, who only returned to the team in the last training camp. In order to prepare for the Asian Cup, young players such as Zhang Yuning, Dai Weijun, and Lin Liangming have spontaneously ended their vacations ahead of schedule and began special training in Shanghai to strengthen their physical reserves.

Those players who missed the training camp and games in November due to non-physical reasons, including some of the main players of the last World Preliminaries, will most likely not be able to participate in the overseas training of the national football team, so they will definitely miss this Asian Cup. According to the plan, the team will arrive in Abu Dhabi on the evening of the 11th local time. Wu Shaocong, who plays for the Turkish League Youth United Sports Club, is expected to travel directly to the UAE to join the team after December 18. The main central defender Jiang Guangtai, who missed the first two rounds of the round of 12 due to injury, will also rush directly to Abu Dhabi to join the team.

Text/Reporter Xiao Yun

(Beijing Youth Daily)