Football: Cannavaro takes over from Lippi at Guangzhou as Italian link grows

Former Italian soccer player Fabio Cannavaro (centre) receives the letter of appointment from Vice President of Evergrande Liu Yongzhuo (left) and his predecessor Marcello Lippi, during a news conference announcing him as the new coach of Chinese Sup
Former Italian soccer player Fabio Cannavaro (centre) receives the letter of appointment from Vice President of Evergrande Liu Yongzhuo (left) and his predecessor Marcello Lippi, during a news conference announcing him as the new coach of Chinese Super League champion Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on Nov 5, 2014. Italy's World Cup winning-captain Fabio Cannavaro will replace his former national team coach Marcello Lippi in charge of Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande for next season, the club announced on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Italy's World Cup winning-captain Fabio Cannavaro will replace his former national team coach Marcello Lippi in charge of Chinese champions Guangzhou Evergrande for next season, the club announced on Wednesday.

The 66-year-old said he would be moving upstairs into a technical director's role for the remainder of the three-year contract he signed in February, after leading the club to a fourth straight Chinese Super League title last weekend.

The club unveiled their new coach at a news conference in Guangzhou and Cannavaro posted their statement on his Twitter feed: "Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande officially unveiled Fabio Cannavaro as their new coach."

Lippi will retain the title of head coach, while Cannavaro will be executive head coach and responsible for the day-to-day running of the team, the club said.

Cannavaro, 41, played 136 times for Italy in a glittering playing career and raised the World Cup in Germany in 2006 with Lippi as his coach.

The former Napoli, Parma, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid central defender finished his playing career at Emirati club Al Ahli and stayed on as a technical consultant after his retirement.

Lippi has won three Chinese Super League titles, the Chinese FA Cup and the 2013 AFC Champions League since taking over at the club two years ago.

Cannavaro's arrival will bring an even more Italian flavour to the club after former Italy internationals Alessandro Diamanti and his former Bologna team mate Alberto Gilardino were purchased this year.