Marcello Lippi vowed to build a whole new Chinese national team to return the love and respect of the Chinese soccer fans.
"I will spare no effort to repay the Chinese fans who give me love and respect with a whole new Chinese national team," Lippi said on Tuesday before his first training session for his second spell as the Chinese national team coach.
The Chinese soccer association announced Lippi's return last month, who ended his first two-year charge after China lost the Asian Cup quarterfinals to Iran. The 71-year-old Italian had not much time to lose with qualification for the 2022 World Cup which will begin in September.
The Italian will kick off his second stint with two friendly matches against the Philippines and Tajikistan.
"The main purpose for the training and matches is to make the preparation of building a new team, with new tactics," Lippi said.
"I believe young players will benefit from the matches because the experience is important for them," he added.
Lippi called up London-born former England youth player Nico Yennaris to his squad. Known as "Li Ke" by Chinese fans, Yennaris is the first naturalized soccer player to be selected for the Chinese national team. The Italian refused to give further information whether he will call up more naturalized players.
"Yennaris certainly can help the team a lot," he said, adding that "it is better to ask" the Chinese soccer association whether there will be more "naturalized players."