Sacré bleu: China women complain less than French, says coach Bruno Bini ahead of Olympic Games opener

Having won a silver medal in 1996, the team begin their campaign against hosts Brazil on Wednesday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2016, 2:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2016, 9:34pm

Former France coach Bruno Bini believes China’s women footballers “work harder and complain less” than his former team as they prepare to face Brazil in a daunting Olympic Games football tournament opener on Wednesday.

China, silver medallists when women’s football made its debut in the Olympics in 1996, return to the Games following an eight-year hiatus after failing to qualify for London four years ago.

But the Asian giants’ reward for reaching Rio de Janeiro is a difficult task against hosts Brazil at the Olympic Stadium.

Nevertheless Bini, who coached France to the World Cup semi-finals in 2011, says his confident side is capable of upsetting Brazil as they embark on their Olympic adventure.

And the eccentric coach, who has in the past had a habit of reading poetry to his players or screening inspirational movies on the eve of matches instead of giving formal team talks, believes China’s work ethic could hold the key to their campaign in Brazil.

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“Maybe we are not as strong as other teams, but we work harder,” Bini said.

“To make a long sentence short, if I compare the Chinese team to the French team, Chinese women work harder and they complain much less.”

China qualified for Rio de Janeiro alongside Australia after the pair posted unbeaten records at the Asian qualifying tournament, which was held in Japan earlier this year.

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Bini’s side Vietnam, Japan and South Korea, while also drawing with North Korea and Australia.

And China have since continued to record a series of encouraging results since Bini took over, beating world champions the United States 1-0 in New Orleans in December, the first game in a 13-match unbeaten run.

Back-to-back defeats against France and Canada in Paris earlier this month jolted their confidence, but Bini says his team remain optimistic.

“Expectations are high and we know our responsibilities at this time,” he said.

“The team have been training for one and a half years so the athletes know very well our pattern for games.”

China face Brazil, South Africa and Sweden in the group stage which gets under way on Wednesday, two days before the formal opening of the Games.