Former FIFA World Cup™ winning coach Marcello Lippi was on Saturday appointed as the new China PR coach, the Chinese Football Association announced on their official website.
"The selection procedure of the China national team manager has been completed, with Mr Marcello Lippi appointed as the new head coach of the team from 22 October, 2016, after friendly negotiations by both sides," the official announcement read.
The appointment of the 68-year-old former Italy and Juventus coach came in the wake of China's disappointing performances in Asia's third qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. So far they have accrued just a point from their four opening matches, results which leave their campaign in real jeopardy. Gao Hongbo, who replaced Frenchman Alain Perrin in February and successfully took Team Dragon through the second round, submitted his resignation after their 2-0 away loss to Uzbekistan in the last outing.
The China job may mark Lippi's first time in charge of a foreign national team, but, he is by no means stranger in the country. He enjoyed a successful three-season spell in charge of Guangzhou Evergrande, guiding the side to three consecutive Chinese Super League championships, while also clinching their maiden AFC Champions League title in 2013.
Lippi, who led Italy to World Cup glory at Germany 2006, is expected to address the media in his first press conference as the China coach six days on from his appointment in Beijing.