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The Chinese Experience

On May 17th, 2012, he joined Guangzhou Evergrande, a team playing in the Chinese Super League, thus returning to be a coach of a football club after 8 years.

His first game in charge of the team was during the 11th matchday, when he got a 1-0 win against Qingdao Jonoon.

On October 27th 2012, Guangzhou won its second consecutive Chinese Super League title one matchday in advance: the tight victory over Liaoning – thanks to a goal by Gao Lin in the 91st minute – was crucial. During this first season in Asia, he also managed to win the National Cup by beating Guizhou Renhe 4-2 away in the second leg of the final match (first leg score: 1-1).

His second season as Guangzhou team coach – when he could also participate in the selection of team members – was a triumphant path that led to the League title many matchdays in advance.

On November 9th 2013, he won the Asian Champions League by drawing the home match 1-1 against Seoul FC and after having drawn the first leg 2-2 in Seoul. Thus, he became the first coach in the world who won the top competitions organised by at least two different Confederations.

Following this victory, he gained the right to participate into the FIFA Club World Cup. During this competition, Guangzhou defeated the Egyptian Al-Ahly team 2-0 in the quarter-final match, but then yielded to Bayern München, coached by Guardiola, in the semi-finals.

At the end of the competition, the team ranked fourth, after the incredible consolation game lost 3-2 against Atletico Miniero.

In 2014 the way in the Champions League Asian are less fortunate but is repeated for the third time in the league, completing a historic treble. At the end of the season left the bench to become more and Sporting Director of the Guangzhou Evergrande.