International

Cannavaro expects to stay at Guangzhou after 'miracle' title

2019-12-03 10:35
Fabio Cannavaro
Fabio Cannavaro (Getty Images)

Shanghai - Fabio Cannavaro said taking Guangzhou Evergrande to the Chinese Super League title was "a miracle" and gave the strongest indication yet that he expects to keep his job.

The 46-year-old Italian World Cup winner was temporarily moved aside as coach in October but returned to lead China's most successful club to the championship on Sunday.

It was the former Juventus and Real Madrid defender's first major honour as a coach and a personal triumph after a turbulent few weeks during which he appeared to be on the brink of the sack.

"I know that many names have been mentioned as a replacement for me, including (Jose) Mourinho, (Zinedine) Zidane and (former Guangzhou coach) Scolari," Cannavaro told the Guangzhou Daily in a report published Tuesday, referring to recent rumours.

"For a team of Evergrande's level, fans hope to have the top coaches and the coach will definitely face various pressures.

"I'm definitely not a perfect coach and it's impossible to make everyone satisfied."

Guangzhou were still top of the CSL in late October but a poor run led them to briefly push Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning skipper aside and put veteran captain Zheng Zhi in charge.

Cannavaro made a surprise return at the start of November but only after a reprimand by the club, which scolded him for his "weak ability to rectify mistakes".

Guangzhou went on to win the next three matches and seal their eighth title in nine years with a 3-0 win over Shanghai Shenhua at the weekend, after which Cannavaro was tossed in the air by his jubilant players.

"I know very well that the outside world had various opinions about it," Cannavaro said of the brief period when he was relieved of his duties.

He did not say how close he came to leaving, but said winning the CSL had fulfilled Guangzhou's demands for the season.

Bearing in mind injuries and the need to revamp an ageing squad, winning the title was almost "a miracle", Cannavaro said, hailing Brazilian midfielder Paulinho as a "superhero".

"An average team can't do it," he added.

Cannavaro said he has several priorities for next season, suggesting that he expects to still be in charge at Guangzhou.

"I hope to further reduce the average age of the team, get in better replacements and continue to provide talent for the national team," he said. 

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.