Coach Lippi confirms team here to play and not for a holiday
GUANGZHOU Evergrande is a team full of superstars, and they'd love to sample some Australian sunshine, but they are not here to take leisurely photos.
The massive Chinese club will take on Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium in the first leg of the Asian Champions League round of 16, tonight.
"Australia is a very beautiful country," Evergrande's coach Marcello Lippi said.
"The players would like to go to the beach, but they're not here for a holiday."
Lippi, who mentored Italy to a World Cup win in 2006, will field a team of superstars, including Brazilian Muriqui, Lucas Barrios from Paraguay, and Argentine Dario Conca - who earns $12.5 million per season.
"And they've got seven or eight Chinese internationals," Mariners coach Graham Arnold said.
"They've got a team worth over $40 million, and our team's budget is $2.5 million.
"But no one expects us to do anything ... that mentality won't change."
Arnold said his team was fit and fresh, despite just completing a taxing nine-day schedule with three games, including the A-League grand final.
"You can't compare the A-League to the Asian Champions League," he said.
"This game is probably the biggest game ever on the Coast."