Following a string of poor results and their table-topping position under threat, the club have put their captain in charge of coaching duties
Guangzhou Evergrande coach Fabio Cannavaro has seen his future called into question after the club released a statement saying that the former Italy international must attend a mandatory ‘Corporate Culture Class’ at the Chinese Super League side’s headquarters.
The communique comes after Guangzhou’s latest result – a 2-2 draw at home to Henan Jianye – left the club just one point ahead at the top of the CSL.
Cannavaro has overseen a drastic downturn in form across the past few months after a fine start to the season, with only one win being recorded since mid-August.
Now, with second-placed Shanghai SIPG next up in the CSL calendar, it would appear that the club are making moves to pull themselves out of their current slump, which could spell bad news for the former Real Madrid and Juventus defender.
The statement reads: “To our fans.
“As mandated by the club, head coach Cannavaro must attend the Evergrande Corporate Culture Class at the club’s headquarters before 12 noon on October 28, 2019.
“During this study period, captain Zheng Zhi will perform the duties of the head coach.”
Guangzhou had gone on a 13-match winning streak midway through the CSL season to claim their position at the top of the table.
However, recently being knocked out of the Asian Champions League at the semi-final stage at the hands of Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds, coupled with three straight domestic top-flight matches without a win, looks to have forced the hands of the board.
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As a soccer professional, Cannavaro lifted the Ballon d’Or, a rare feat for a centre-back, while the World Cup, UEFA Cup, La Liga and Coppa Italia titles make up just a few of the pieces of silverware the former centre-back got his hands on alongside a hefty list of individual honours.
Following a glittering playing career, the 46-year-old cut his coaching teeth as assistant boss at UAE side Al-Ahli before taking in a single season at the helm of current side Guangzhou.
Short stints at Al-Nassr and Tianjin Quanjian followed before he returned to Guangzhou in 2017. Should Cannavaro be sacked by the club, it will still represent the longest he has spent with a single side during his coaching career.