Sun may come back as China coach

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 September, 2007, 12:00am

Sun Wen, a former star player in the China's women's soccer team, says she may be returning to the sport - this time as a coach.

The 34-year-old Shanghai native retired from the national team for the second time last year but said any opportunity to return to the game would be too hard to resist.

'My life is football, no matter where I am,' said Sun, who is in Hong Kong to help promote sporting events in Shanghai. 'I may become a coach one day. You can never rule that out.'

A strong striker with great skills and passing ability, Sun won both the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball awards at the 1999 Women's World Cup, where China lost to hosts US in the final after a penalty shootout.

She then became the first woman to be nominated for the Asian Football Confederation player of the year award. In 2002, Sun was voted Fifa's Woman Player of the Century, an award she shared with American Michelle Akers.

She retired from the national team after China lost to Canada in the quarter-finals of the past World Cup in 2003, but made a comeback in December 2005. Due to various injuries, Sun retired again after steering China to victory at the Asian championship last year.

She is now the deputy director of the commercial department of the organising committee for next year's Women's World Cup, which kicks off in Shanghai and four other cities on the mainland next week.

Sun has also been studying at Fudan University in Shanghai since 2003. She first started a course in international relations and has recently shifted to communications, majoring in advertising.

'Although it has nothing to do with football, it will not stop me from becoming a coach if I really want to. I still have one more year [at university] and then I will decide what I want to do.'

The football legend, however, would not comment on China's chances at the World Cup because she did not want to put pressure on the team.

'In football, it is always difficult to predict results,' she said. 'I hope the team can play their best this time in front of the home fans.'

Sun praised current China coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors, saying the Swede was very experienced and had prepared the team well.




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