China coach Marcelo Lippi: 'Importance needs to be given to India'

The 70-year-old Italian who is the only football coach in history to win the UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League and FIFA World Cup took the charge of the Red Dragons in 2016.

Marcelo Lippi is the only football coach in history to win the UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League and FIFA World Cup   -  AIFF

Former World Cup-winning coach Marcelo Lippi acclaimed India's recent rapid rise through the FIFA rankings during the pre-match press conference before his wards take on India at the iconic Suzhou Olympic Stadium in Suzhou City on Saturday.

"Indian football has witnessed a rapid development in recent years and we cannot ignore their effort and strength. As a result, we, of course, need to give great importance to them for tomorrow's match," Lippi said.

The 70-year-old Italian who is the only football coach in history to win the UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League and FIFA World Cup took the charge of the Red Dragons in 2016.

READ: Jhingan named captain for match against China

Though the side has not been able to win the last two ties against Qatar and Bahrain, it is a force to reckon with and Indian coach Stephen Constantine warned that the side "won't get fooled by the recent results."

Moreover, on being asked whether he'll focus on any particular department of the Indian Team, the Italian coach expressed that they need to fight against India "as a whole team."

"We have to confront them as a team. I can't separate whether we need to put extra focus on any particular department of the Indian team", he further added, "Instead of keeping an extra eye on opponent key players, I would rather focus more on my own team's strengths."