Guangzhou Evergrande marksman Muriqui has backed his club manager Marcello Lippi for the vacant managerial position with the Chinese national team.
The duo teamed up to help Guangzhou become the first Chinese winners of the AFC Champions League earlier this month and the Brazilian striker said the World Cup-winning Italian could help the national team, ranked 97th by FIFA, fulfill its potential.
"I think he is a wonderful coach and he has helped our team a lot and Chinese football also," Muriqui said of the cigar smoking Italian through a translator.
"Of course if one day he wants to be the coach of the Chinese team then it would be a very great thing and he will help more of Chinese football. I wish one day he will be the Chinese coach."
Lippi has been heavily touted for the role following his success with Guangzhou where he has won back-to-back Chinese league titles before becoming the first coach to claim both the Asian and European Champions League titles.
China, with only one World Cup appearance, have been without a full-time coach since sacking former Spain boss Juan Antonio Camacho in June following a bad run of results, including a 5-1 loss to Thailand, with Fu Bo in temporary charge.
Fu named seven Guangzhou players in the starting line-up for the Asian Cup qualifying win away to Indonesia earlier this month but they could not break down Saudi Arabia in a goalless draw four days later, which Lippi attended.
The Italian's success with Guangzhou has been heavily influenced by his attacking South American trio of Dario Conca, Elkeson and Muriqui, who was named AFC Foreign Player of the year at the AFC awards in Malaysia on Tuesday.
Argentine playmaker Conca will leave the Chinese side after the Club World Cup in Morocco next month and Muriqui said he was sad to see him go.
"Conca is a very good player and we are very sad he is leaving as it will make a difference to our team," he said.
The rich club will have the resources to replace him and a strong showing in Morocco could help the recruitment drive.
Muriqui, who was top scorer in the Asian Champions League this year with 13 goals, was confident he could repeat the feat against Al Ahly of Egypt in the last eight, with German giants Bayern Munich awaiting the winner in the semi-finals.
"Of course, I'm sure I can. I have already scored more than 10 goals in the Asian Champions League, of course I can score more goals in the Club World Cup in Morocco," said the Brazilian, who beat Conca and Iran's Javad Nekounam to the AFC award.