Cannavaro returns as Guangzhou head coach

Cannavaro returns as Guangzhou head coach

HONG KONG – Reuters
Cannavaro returns as Guangzhou head coach

Fabio Cannavaro has been tasked with building an all-Chinese team that can maintain Guangzhou Evergrande's domestic dominance after being appointed their new head coach on Nov. 9.

The Italian was handed a five-year deal at the same club that fired him in 2015 and replaces Luiz Felipe Scolari, who left following the completion of his contract having guided Evergrande to the last three league titles and the 2015 Asian Champions League crown.

Cannavaro had a seven-month stint at Guangzhou when he took over from Marcello Lippi in late 2014, only to be fired in June the following year and replaced by Scolari.

"I'm very honoured and happy to be back here," Cannavaro said at a news conference.

“Before leaving here last time I had said that I would come back one day.

"Fortunately I have gathered some very good experience in the Chinese leagues since then and I am so happy to be back.

“Evergrande's plan for the upcoming years excites me very much and strongly motivates me to work with club. We will need to bring as many Chinese talents through as possible while keeping winning as always."

The 44-year-old World Cup-winning defender rebuilt his coaching career with a stint at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia before returning to China to steer Tianjin Quanjian to the second division title in 2016.

Cannavaro led Tianjin to third place in the just-completed Chinese Super League season, guiding the club to the Asian Champions League for the first time, before resigning earlier this week.