Shanghai (AFP) – Former England, Real Madrid and Russia manager Fabio Capello was named on Sunday to lead China’s Jiangsu Suning, one of the biggest coaching signings yet in a spending binge by the Chinese domestic league.
Jiangsu Suning said the disciplinarian Italian would “bring some of the world’s most advanced ideas and methods to drive the elevation of Jiangsu football, and Chinese football overall”.
Capello is the latest high-profile import to China following rocketing player deals which reportedly put Ezequiel Lavezzi and Carlos Tevez among the world’s best-paid footballers and saw Chinese clubs smash the Asian transfer record five times within 12 months.
Jiangsu Suning have been particularly free-spending, splashing out on high-priced imports like Brazilians Ramires and Alex Teixeira.
But a disappointing season was compounded by elimination from the AFC Champions League two weeks ago, and they are now flirting with relegation from China’s top tier.
Jiangsu announced the departure of South Korean coach Choi Yong-Soo shortly after their Champions League exit.
– Glittering C.V. –
Capello, now 70, brings a glittering resume.
Capello was appointed England manager in December 2007, signing a lucrative contract with a brief to halt years of English footballing under-achievement.
His hard-line disciplinarian approach reaped impressive results during a honeymoon period, when a revitalised England qualified for the 2010 World Cup with ease.
But Capello’s first taste of management at a major international tournament ended in humiliation as England crashed out with a 4-1 defeat against old rivals Germany in the last 16.
He survived the storm of criticism following that failure and guided England to qualification for Euro 2012.
But the Italian resigned before the tournament after disagreeing with the Football Association over the decision to take the captaincy from John Terry, who was facing racism allegations.
Appointed to the Russia job after Euro 2012, Capello oversaw an impressive qualifying campaign for Brazil, reaching the World Cup finals for the first time in 12 years.
The Russians were knocked out in the group stages, however, and Capello was let go the following year amid a rocky qualifying campaign for Euro 2016.
Jiangsu said that besides coaching the team, Capello would be involved in the club’s overall management and oversee training of coaches and youth players.