Fabio Cannavaro has returned to seven-time Chinese Super league champion Guangzhou Evergrande as head coach to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari, two years after he was fired by the big-spending club.

Cannavaro, who was captain of Italy’s 2006 World Cup winning squad, left Evergrande in June 2015 after just seven months in the job.

Scolari took over in 2015 and helped deliver three titles for the club before his contract expired.

Guangzhou Evergrande made the announcement of its new coach on Thursday, ending widespread speculation about Scolari’s successor.

“We have taken into consideration the strategic development needs of the club,” Guangzhou said in a statement confirming Cannavaro’s appointment.

Cannavaro joined Tianjin Quanjian as coach in 2016 and helped the club win promotion to the top tier of Chinese soccer.

He quit as head coach of Tianjin on Sunday after leading the team into third place in the league and a first-ever qualification for the Asian Champions League.

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JOHN DUEREN
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