Former England Manager Eriksson Named Shanghai Soccer Club Coach

Former England soccer manager Sven-Goran Eriksson switched clubs in the Chinese Super League, becoming head coach of a team owned by Shanghai International Port (Group) Co.

The Swede will lead Shanghai SIPG next year, the Shanghai government said on its microblog on Nov. 18. Eriksson signed a two-year contract, according to People.cn, the website operated by the People’s Daily.

Eriksson was previously coach of Guangzhou R&F Football Club. The team finished third in the Super League under Eriksson, who was coach for a year.

The top Chinese league has become a destination for both players and coaches from abroad, including Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi and players Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. While China’s men’s national soccer team hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since 2002, soccer is one of the most popular sports in the country.

Shanghai International Port acquired Shanghai East Asia Football Club last month and renamed it Shanghai SIPG. The club finished fifth last year.

An operator who answered the phone today at Shanghai International Port said the company didn’t employ anyone to respond to media inquiries. Phone calls to the company’s human-resources department went unanswered.

Eriksson coached England from 2001 to 2006.

— With assistance by Shidong Zhang

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