Former Brazil and Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has agreed to take charge of Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande.
Guangzhou is known for making a splash in the managerial market. Scolari, signed to a two-and-a-half year contract, will be following Italians Fabio Cannavaro and Marcello Lippi, both previous World Cup winners.
The post will be the 21st different team Scolari has taken charge of across his 33-year managerial career. Following his departure from his six-year tenure at the helm of Portugal in 2008, the 66-year-old has taken charge of six different squads and spent no more than two seasons at any job. His most recent job was a third spell with Brazilian club Gremio, but he left in May just two matches into the 2015 league season thanks to a poor start.
“We don’t have any pressure at all although the Italian coaches had achieved great success here earlier,” Scolari said at a presentation ceremony Friday in Guangzhou. The club is coming off a league championship last season, and it won the AFC Champions League in 2013.
Scolari said he had been in contact with Guangzhou since 2011, and he has previous experience in Asia as boss of Japanese club Jubilo Iwata as well as manager of the Kuwait national team and Kuwaiti club Al Qadisiya.
“We didn’t only want his name, we also wanted his ability, experience, management skills and the whole coaching team,” said Guangzhou chairman Xu Jiayin. “And those had to be widely recognized by the world already. So it’s a risk-free choice for us to hire such a top-class world coach.”
Guangzhou has a host of Brazilian players on the squad, including Rene Junior, Alan, Elkeson and Ricardo Goulart.