Eriksson new coach of Guangzhou R&F

Guangzhou, June 5 (IANS) Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F officially appointed former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson as the club’s new coach until the end of 2014.

The club was reported to ink a contract of more than 2 million euros, and a one or two years optional clause, reports Xinhua.

“Mr. Eriksson is one of the most famous coaches in the world, we believe with his ability and experience we could do better in Chinese Super league,” Lu Yi, vice president of the Chinese club said here Tuesday.

The 65-year-old Swede has won more than 20 major trophies as a manager with a variety of clubs in Sweden, Portugal, Italy and England. He also guided England to final eight in 2004 European Championships and the 2006 World Cup before taking rein of national teams of Mexico and Cote d’Ivoire.

“Eriksson has a wide range of experience in the world’s top clubs such as Lazio, Roma and Manchester City, which will help us a lot,” Lu said.

Guangzhou R&F are currently seventh in China’s Super League and have Nigerian striker Yakubu Ayegbeni in their ranks, a player Eriksson signed on loan while in charge of Leicester City in 2010.

“Yes, Eriksson knew Yakubu well, and we believe they can get along well again in China. Actually, Eriksson also has good knowledge of the whole team,” Zhang Bin, General Manager of Guangzhou R&F football club, said.

For now, the Chinese Super League has gathered Marcello Lippi, Rodomir Antic and Sven-Goran Eriksson. The world’s most populous country is showing its ambition in the world’s No.1 sport.

“I think Eriksson will help R&F do better in the league,” R&F’s city rivals Guangzhou Evergrande coach Lippi said.

It has been 12 years since Eriksson left Italy for England, before the two frequently met in tunnels, the former as the coach of Lazio and the latter as Juventus and Inter Milan in the 1990s. The Swede held an favourable 11 wins, 6 draws and 7 losses against the Italian.

No one could imagine that after a decade Eriksson would follow Lippi’s footsteps to China. Time has changed and his opponent is ever stronger. The big spending neighbour is heading for their third league title in a row with three points clear in the tables. Luckily Eriksson will have two months time to prepare his next battle against the Italian.

“We are old friends, we met many many times in Italy, he is experienced and he will give a great help to R&F,” Lippi said.

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