Villas-Boas successor sets sights on winning trophies in new season
Shanghai SIPG have hired Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira to succeed compatriot Andre Villas-Boas as their new coach, the Chinese Super League (CSL) club announced Monday.
Pereira was assistant to Villas-Boas at Porto in 2010-11 when they led the Portuguese side to win the Portuguese league, cup and the Europa League. Pereira took over at Porto after Villas-Boas subsequently left for English Premier League club Chelsea, lifting the Portuguese league trophy twice in his two years in charge before joining Saudi club Al-Ahli in 2013. He also coached Greek side Olympiacos, Turkish club Fenerbahce and Germany's 1860 -Munich. The 49-year-old had been without a job since leaving 1860 in May following their drop into the German third tier.
The coach set his sights on winning titles with the club in the new season.
"It's a great challenge for me to coach this ambitious club," Pereira told a press conference in Shanghai. "The CSL is a promising league with plenty of high-profile coaches and players. I hope I could try my best to achieve our goals. Fighting for championships, that is why I accepted the club's offer."
SIPG CEO Zhang Min said the two sides had signed a two-year contract, but did not mention the coach's salary. It is reported that he will earn 5 million euros ( million) a year in Shanghai.
Big-spending SIPG, boasting stars like Brazilians Oscar and Hulk as well as China's best attacker Wu Lei, failed to win any trophy in the just concluded season. They finished runners-up in both the CSL and FA Cup, and reached the last four in the Champions League.
One of the most famous coaches in world soccer, Villas-Boas left Shanghai two weeks ago after failing to deliver on his preseason promise of winning a trophy. And his only year in China was not without controversy. The former Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur manager, reportedly earning 15 million euros a year at SIPG, was fined ,000 by the Asian Football Confederation for using offensive words to the referee during SIPG's quarterfinal match in the Champions League in September. He was also banned for eight games by the Chinese Football Association for misconduct against referees.
Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and Italian Fabio Cannavaro had been hotly tipped as Villas-Boas' successor at SIPG. Scolari left CSL champions Guangzhou Evergrande after his contract ran out at the end of last season, and Cannavaro left Tianjin Quanjian to replace him at Evergrande. Most fans seemed disappointed by the hiring of the relatively unknown Pereira at SIPG.
In an online poll on sina.com, more than 60 percent of fans felt Pereira would not succeed at Shanghai, while 20 percent thought him the perfect choice.
"Maybe he'll survive 10 games, but I'm sure he'll be fired before the first 15 games next season," one fan -commented on the club's official microblog.
"I don't think he will be able to control the dressing room," wrote another.