China to naturalise players

China is allegedly looking to make Elkeson and Goulart the first naturalised players through residency to represent the Chinese national team. This seems to have been at the order of Marcello Lippi as part of his agreement to return to the Chinese manager's job.

Elkeson to become the first naturalised Chinese international 

Elkeson is currently the top foreign goalscorer in the Chinese Super League, with 94 goals. While he is the second highest ever scorer in the Chinese Super League, one spot behind former teammate Wu Lei, who left to join Espanyol.

If Elkeson does become the first Chinese player to be naturalised and go on to represent China, which is something that could happen as soon as this September. This would be just in time for the first round of World Cup qualifying; then this would possibly set Chinese football on a different path to one they were previously on.

China's philosophy seemed to lie in developing young talents, and eventually creating something like a golden generation that could first, get them to World Cup finals on a regular basis and then go deep into tournaments after that.

Now that China is seeking out players who could become naturalised and represent the Chinese national team, indicates that they may be accepting that their previous strategy has so far been a failure, and they clearly wish to speed up their chances of qualifying for the World Cup.

A player like Elkeson could definitely be beneficial in China's quest in qualification, as he has already proved well enough in the Chinese Super League how capable he is of finding the back of the net.

Then Elkeson being eligible to represent China through residency, you wouldn't expect any kind of cultural difficulties in fitting in with his teammates at the national side, because he has already shown he is capable of living and performing well while living in a vastly different culture to his own.

Therefore, Elkeson could single-handedly be the start to a change in the outlook of the Chinese national team, as more players are lined up for naturalisation, be it through heritage or residency, because China wants to accelerate qualifying for the World Cup.

Naturalisation seems to be based on the insistence of Lippi

News coming out of China suggest that Lippi himself has insisted on targeting Ricardo Goulart for naturalisation, and it has been said in some outlets that it was included as part of the agreement which saw him return to China for a second stint as manager of the national side.

Lippi is clearly well placed to have a say on China's limitations, but the man himself has often looked like a person who has never wanted to work in China, but the pot of gold was too much for him to knock back.

If the news is to be believed, Lippi didn't react well with China's passive elimination from the Asian Cup in January and his hard-line managerial style may not sit well with some of the Chinese players.

Lippi has been tasked with making sure China qualify for the World Cup, and we think that this will end in failure again, but the cards Lippi appears to have up his sleeve are two-pronged. One is the naturalisation of players through residency like Elkeson and Goulart, and the second approach is to scour the globe looking for professional players who are eligible to represent China through the family links.

Lippi obviously thinks that he can create a solid spine, out of what top tier Chinese players he already has, by adding the 'foreign' players into the mix. Thereby, China will stand a much better chance of qualifying, but this is me just trying to second guess Lippi's thinking.

He does strike me as a fella who won't be too happy with his reputation being damaged by poor results, but at the same time, he is clearly also a fella who can't ignore huge huge pay cheques d and who can blame him.

Lippi's second stint in China will again end in failure, as China still won't qualify for the World Cup, but the approach they take in trying to get to the World Cup this time around will have a longer lasting effect on the Chinese national team long into the future after Lippi has been and gone.

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