Shandong Luneng

Former Brazil manager Mano Menezes has been hired by Chinese side Shandong Luneng as coach, the club said — the third ex-boss of the South American giants to find a role in the Asian country.

Menezes, 53, joins World Cup-winner Luiz Felipe Scolari, who is in charge of Chinese and Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, in the Chinese Super League. Much-travelled Vanderlei Luxemburgo also took over at China League One side Tianjin Quanjian in September.

“From today, he will lead the team in all games as head coach,” Shandong said on its website.

Long assailed by corruption and scandal, money has poured into Chinese football in recent years, enabling clubs to dangle lucrative offers before star foreign coaches and players.

Shandong did not reveal details of the deal, but Menezes described the club’s offer as “out of this world”, the Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.

He replaces countryman Cuca, who took over at Shandong in late 2013 but was sacked at the weekend after a difficult tenure, including being banned from the bench for seven months by the China Football Association for being involved in a fight with an assistant referee following a high-tension CSL match in June.

Shandong Luneng were the most successful side in the CSL in the late 2000s, but have been eclipsed more recently by Scolari’s Evergrande. They finished third this season.

Menezes took the helm of Brazil in 2010, but his team lost the London 2012 Olympic final — the only title they have never won — and he was sacked in November of that year.

Chinese news portal Sina cited Brazilian media as saying that Menezes was given a four-year deal worth around 490,000 euros ($532,000) a month, and that Shandong will pay his current Brazilian club Cruzeiro 1.7 million euros in compensation.

But Menezes’ own website said in a statement that his contract was for two years. – Agence France-Presse

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