Luiz Felipe Scolari has stated that he does want to be compared to anyone else as Guangzhou Evergrande get ready to do battle with the Suwon Bluewings in the AFC Champions League.
Guangzhou lifted the Chinese Super Cup against Jiangsu Suning on Saturday, winning 1-0 courtesy of a stunning first-half strike by Brazilian Alan.
That performance on the weekend backed up their impressive start to their AFC Champions League campaign. The Chinese outfit hammered Eastern AA 7-0 last week.
However, neither of the aforementioned results were enough to stop the Brazilian mastermind being unfavourably compared to the man he succeeded at Guangzhou – Marcello Lippi.
Despite Lippi having only won the AFC Champions League once in his three years with Guangzhou, the Italian seems to be far more liked than Scolari.
The origins of that sentiment might have a lot to do with Guangzhou’s failure to progress from the group stages of Asia’s premier club competition last year.
Under Scolari, their AFC Champions League challenge was a disaster in 2016. So frustrated by their early exit were the hierarchy at Guangzhou that it seemed as though Scolari would lose his job and be replaced by Lippi for a second term.
Lippi opted to rather coach the Chinese national team though and so Scolari survived.
And after his success on the weekend, the former Chelsea boss has made it clear that he wants his own identity.
— Alan Carvalho (@AlannCarvalho) February 25, 2017
“I am here at Evergrande to coach, not to be compared with A or B,” a prickly Scolari told reporters after the Super Cup final.
“I am helping the club to win titles, I hope that while I am here we can win titles every season. If I can be frank, the [Super Cup] win shows that Evergrande were right to choose me.”
Guangzhou’s season on the continent continues in Korea on Wednesday as they face Suwon. A victory there would go a long way to securing qualification to the round of 16. Even at this early stage, six points in Group G would put Guangzhou in a commanding position.
However, winning at the Suwon World Cup Stadium is far easier said than done. Managed by Kim Joon-sik Suwon are an organised unit littered with high-quality players.
Coming off a draw against Kawasaki Frontale in their AFC Champions League opener, Suwon will be desperate to get their first win under the belt.
— 수원삼성블루윙즈축구단 (@bluewingsfc) February 3, 2017
They will need a big performance from Yeom Ki-hun if that is to happen. The captain will most likely be positioned on the left flank for Suwon and will look to use his pace to get at the Guangzhou back four and provide service for the Brazilian strike force of Johnathan and Santos.
The game kicks-off at 18:00 (HKT).