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Former Manchester United and Barcelona winger Jordi Cruyff heads to Chinese Super League

Former Manchester United and Barcelona winger Jordi Cruyff has been named as the new head coach of Chinese Super League side Shenzhen FC.

The 46-year old son of Holland great Johan Cruyff had recently resigned from a brief spell as manager of Ecuador and returns to China for a second time having previously coached Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.

He replaces former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni at Shenzhen.

‘I’m excited to be returning to Chinese football with this ambitious project,’ said Cruyff. 

‘The Chinese Super League is constantly improving, as I witnessed during my previous spell in the division and I’m very grateful to Shenzhen FC for having placed their faith in me and my coaching staff to help them as they aim to continue to grow as a club.’

Prior to his first stint in China, Cruyff had a successful six-year sojourn at Maccabi-Tel Aviv, the first five of which were spent as the Israeli side’s sporting director, before he managed the team during his final year. During his time at the club, he also temporarily found himself having to occupy both roles.

Cruyff helped establish Maccabi as a role model in Israel for their footballing philosophy and trophy success and played his part in delivering a trio of league titles, two State Cup crowns and the Toto Cup, while the side clinched Europa League qualification on three occasions and made the Champions League once.

Maccabi’s most recent coach Vladimir Ivic won successive titles and is to be appointed Watford’s new coach.

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