Former Asian Player of the Year Zheng Zhi has been appointed head coach of eight-time Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou FC, the club announced on social media.
Zheng, who spent 11-and-a-half seasons with the club as a player, replaces Liu Zhiyu at the helm.
Guangzhou are currently third from bottom of the Chinese Super League standings after winning just once in 12 games so far this season.
The role will be Zheng’s first as a head coach, although he has previously led Guangzhou on an interim basis.
The former midfielder was named Asian Player of the Year in 2013 after helping the club to the first of two Asian Champions League titles that year. They claimed a second in 2015.
Zheng ended his playing career with Guangzhou at the end of last season having joined in 2011 from Scottish club Celtic with Guangzhou in the second tier of Chinese football.
Bank-rolled by property developers China Evergrande, the club won the second division title before going on to claim seven consecutive Chinese Super League trophies and eight in nine seasons.
The club’s most recent league title came in 2019.
Zheng also played 108 times for China before retiring after the country failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals.
He is joined by former Guangzhou midfielders Huang Bowen and Mei Fang, who will work as his assistant coaches.
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