Pereira steps in at SIPG

China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-13 07:42

SHANGHAI - Vitor Pereira wants to go one better than predecessor Andre Villas-Boas by winning a title after being named coach of big-spending Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old, who was once assistant to Villas-Boas at Porto, has been out of the game since leaving 1860 Munich following relegation to the German third tier in May.

Pereira, who had notoriously poor relations with Dutch striker Robin van Persie before being sacked by Turkish club Fenerbahce in August 2016, is tasked with breaking Guangzhou Evergrande's stranglehold on the CSL.

Villas-Boas left SIPG two weeks ago after a turbulent season failed to yield a trophy despite reaching the last four of the Asian Champions League, the final of the Chinese FA Cup and finishing second behind Evergrande in the CSL.

"The Chinese league is a big challenge at the moment, a lot of (foreign) coaches come here, a lot of good players come to this league," said Pereira, who plans to speak to his fellow Portuguese and "friend" Villas-Boas about the job.

"I will do my best to help the club to fight to achieve our goals. I know what the club wants and I know what I want for my career, and both of us want to win titles," he told a news conference at his unveiling.

Pereira steps in at SIPG

"This is the main reason why I decided to come here. Together, for sure, we will reach our targets at the end of the season."

Pereira was No 2 to Villas-Boas at Porto in the 2010-2011 season and together they won the Portuguese League, Cup and Europa League.

When Villas-Boas left for Chelsea, Pereira took charge of Porto, lifting the Portuguese League twice, before spells in charge of Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia, Olympiakos in Greece and then Fenerbahce.

SIPG boasts an expensively assembled squad boasting the attacking talents of Brazilian duo Oscar and Hulk and coveted Chinese striker Wu Lei.

Hulk worked under Pereira at Porto for three years and the new coach said he was looking forward to reacquainting himself with the powerful forward.

"I know his personality and his quality," said Pereira. "For sure he will help us a lot, but the key player for me is the team."

Compared to former Chelsea boss Villas-Boas and Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro at Guangzhou, Pereira is a relative unknown in China, with some SIPG fans quick to criticize the appointment.

"I feel like he won't be able to control the dressing room but I hope results will prove me wrong," wrote one skeptic on Weibo.


(China Daily 12/13/2017 page24)

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