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With an average age of 29.2, Marcello Lippi's squad is the oldest in the history of the Asian Cup.   © Reuters

Chinese soccer -- the long march

Despite big investments and Xi's personal backing, tournament wins remain elusive

John Duerden | China

ABU DHABI -- Outside Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium on a pleasant Abu Dhabi evening, Chinese fans were in fine voice ahead of the game with the Philippines, the second of three group matches at the 2019 Asian Cup, the continent's quadrennial soccer championships.

"We will win today, I am sure," said Luo Ming, who came down from Dubai for the game on Jan. 11. "I will enjoy it while I can as I don't expect China to be here for too long as we are not a strong team."

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