Shandong appoint Ivankovic
Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng have appointed Croatian coach Branko Ivankovic following the departure of Ljubisa Tumbakovic.
Ivankovic was assistant to Ciro Blazevic when Croatia finished third at 1998 FIFA World Cup™ and then led Iran in the tournament in Germany eight years later before enjoying a two-year spell with Dinamo Zagreb.
The 55-year-old has signed a two-year contract ahead of next season's campaign which will also include the AFC Champions League after Shandong finished fourth last season.
"I know Shandong is aiming high and I would also like to set a high goal for myself," said Ivankovic. "I want to leave my footprint on the club's history.
"Our goal for next year is to finish at least in the top three in the domestic league. Our players have to turn more professional in the coming years."
Tumbakovic won the league and cup double in 2006 and the Super League title last year, but he had been under pressure since May after failing to guide Shandong past the group stage of the Champions League.