Scolari irritated by media focus on money

Guangzhou Evergrande coach Luis Felipe Scolari became agitated when questioned by Australian media about his Chinese Super League club's incredible wealth compared to local clubs.

Speaking on Tuesday at the official pre-match press conference before Wednesday night's clash with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Scolari took exception to a question about the disparity between the two clubs' budgets.

ACL preview: Sydney FC v Guangzhou Evergrande

A member of the Australian press pointed out to him Sydney FC’s total budget is just $4m while his club was able to spend $65m on star striker Jackson Martinez.

Guangzhou striker Jackson Martinez in action for former club Atletico Madrid.

An irritated Scolari responded by saying: “If there is some difference between the two teams its only after you finish playing the match and see the result,” he said through a translator.

“Then you will know the difference between the two teams.”

Scolari also shot down suggestions Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League won’t be a fair fight, insisting a draw against Sydney FC wouldn’t be a bad result for his side.

The big-spending Chinese Super League side will start hot favourites to beat the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium but Scolari was doing his best to play things down on Tuesday.

Guangzhou, winners of out of the last three ACL titles, opened this season’s group game with a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Pohang Steelers.

In a tough group which also includes Urawa Red Diamonds, it’s put the pressure on to take all three points from tomorrow’s clash with the wounded Sky Blues.

Guangzhou Evergrande players pose for a team photo prior to last week's ACL clash with Pohang Steelers.

But the former World Cup winner with Brazil doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s not that we will come here for a draw but we know one point is not really the worst result for us,” the Brazil World Cup-winning coach said.

“Our main objective is just to qualify from the group stage.

“In the AFC Champions league, especially in the group stage there is no easy match to play we know we’re at the beginning of the season,” he added.

“After the first match we’ve improved physically and mentally.”

Skipper Zheng Zhi is one of a handful of Chinese internationals in the Guangzhou line-up and knows all about the strengths of Australian football and sides in the Hyundai A-League.

 

He says there’s no chance his star-studded side will take Sydney FC lightly.

“Every year that we play in AFC Champions League in the group stage and next round we always meet a team from Australia,” Zhi said.

“We know teams from Australia have similar characteristics. We know they have a lot of experience, they are strong physically and have good rhythm controlling the ball and so on.

“We know it will be a difficult match. We have to prepare well because we know in order to get through to the next round we need the three points.”

Guangzhou completed their final training session at Allianz Stadium on Tuesday evening having spent the last couple of days acclimatizing after arriving on two luxurious private jets on the weekend.

And they are set to have plenty of support on Wednesday night with the club purchasing more than 9000 tickets to distribute to Sydney’s Chinese community.