Guangzhou Evergrande have announced the arrival of 2002 World Cup-winning manager Luiz Felipe Scolari at Tianhe Stadium, following the shock dismissal of Fabio Cannavaro on Thursday evening.
Evergrande drew 2-2 with Tianjin earlier in the day with a team depleted of seven first-team players to remain in contention for a fifth league title.
However, Cannavaro’s exit was confirmed shortly after the final whistle in a club statement. The two parties are said to have reached an amicable agreement.
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In his place at the club will be Scolari, commonly known as Felipão, with a two-and-a-half year contract announced shortly after.
Scolari will take over a side currently second in the table—level on points with Shandong Luneng—with just 13 games of the season played. Evergrande have also reached the quarterfinal stage of the AFC Champions League for the fourth consecutive season.
Cannavaro is currently under investigation in Italy over tax-related offences and was handed a 10-month jail sentence in February for breaking terms regarding his property during those proceedings. His appeal will be heard later in the year.
With no official reasons given at present, it is thought that events in Italy may be the reason behind Evergrande’s decision to act so swiftly after just six months with Cannavaro at the helm.
However, a club insider reportedly told Sina Sports on Thursday that the change in management is due to Scolari’s style of play better suiting the team’s largely Brazilian foreign players.
The source said: “Evergrande greatly approve of Scolari’s coaching style and hope that he can help the side’s playing style approach that of the high levels of world football.”
Scolari will arrive in Guangzhou next week, taking advantage of the forthcoming international break to get to know some of his new squad ahead of their next fixture away to rivals Shandong on June 20.