Japan's former coach Takeshi Okada, who took the Blue Samurai to the knockout stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, is in final talks to join China's Hangzhou Greentown FC.
"I get inspired by the challenge," Okada told reporters as he arrived in Shanghai late Tuesday, according to Nikkan Sports. "China is a country that will play a key role in many areas of the world. I want to see it for myself."
Okada, 55, became a national hero in Japan after his team reached the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup for the first time on foreign soil in South Africa, beating Cameroon and Denmark before losing to the Netherlands, the eventual runners-up.
Okada, who also coached Japan during their FIFA World Cup debut in 1998, when they lost all three group matches, said last year he might accept a club post, but would never again become a national coach. He was offered the position at former Asian club champions Urawa Red Diamonds but turned it down, apparently in favour of Hangzhou Greentown, Nikkan Sports said.
"I will meet the owner and discuss visions for the club," he said about Hangzhou Greentown, according to Nikkan Sports. "I can feel the possibility now I am here. The decision is almost there."