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Magath latest big-name foreign coach to leave Chinese club


Shanghai (AFP) – Felix Magath on Friday became the latest foreign coach in a matter of weeks to leave his post in the Chinese Super League (CSL), following Andre Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari out the exit door. 

Villas-Boas on Thursday departed as coach of Shanghai SIPG and the veteran Magath followed suit less than 24 hours later when Shandong Luneng said they would not renew the German’s contract.

Scolari, the 69-year-old Brazilian who took Guangzhou Evergrande to a seventh CSL title on the bounce, left his role as coach early last month when the season ended.

Magath, 64, whose previous coaching roles included two and a half years at Bayern Munich, joined Shandong in June 2016.

They finished this past season sixth out of 16 teams in the CSL.

Magath, who was relegated from the English Premier League with Fulham in 2014 and later sacked, will be replaced as Shandong coach by Li Xiaopeng.

Li was already at the club, serving in a number of positions, and once managed China’s women’s team.

Shandong said they were parting ways with Magath “after friendly negotiations”.

“Since taking office, Mr. Magath has further enhanced the team’s desire, training level and performance through his effective and fruitful work,” the club said in a statement. 

“Mr. Magath won the club’s respect and the fans’ hearts by his rigorous attitude to work and his dedication.”

What was ultimately Magath’s final game in charge was a thrilling 5-4 victory over Hebei China Fortune, with the Brazilian international Diego Tardelli hitting a hat-trick, the third an injury-time penalty to seal victory.

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