Chinese Super League 2016

Italian Fabio Cannavaro returns to China as boss of second-tier side Tianjin Quanjian

The former world player of the year had a one-year stint with Guangzhou Evergrande

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 June, 2016, 3:59pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 June, 2016, 3:59pm

Former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has taken the helm at China’s second tier Tianjin Quanjian, marking his return to what is emerging as the world’s richest football market.

Cannavaro was scheduled to make his first appearance at an open practice on Friday after arriving in the northern port city of Tianjin on Thursday.

The former defender previously spent a year as coach of Guangzhou Evergrande in the top flight Chinese Super League, followed by a stint with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr.

As a player, Cannavaro won the Ballon d’Or and the Fifa World Player of the Year awards after captaining Italy to the 2006 World Cup.

Top Chinese clubs spent US$300 million on foreign stars in the preseason transfer window, strengthening rosters and increasing attendances at home and boosting the league’s profile overseas.