Klinsmann overlooked by China…China parted ways with Jankovic → Klinsmann replaced by Ivankovic

The Chinese national soccer team has a new head coach. Aleksandar Jankovic, who led the team to a poor showing at the Asian Cup, is out and Branko Ivankovic, who led Oman, is in.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) announced on its official website on Thursday (June 24) that “Jankovic will no longer be the head coach of the Chinese men’s national football team. Following the failure of the Chinese national football team to qualify for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar, the contract between Coach Jankovic and his organization was terminated by mutual consent, and Coach Jankovic will no longer serve as the head coach of the Chinese national football team,” the CFA announced on its official website.

“The Chinese Football Association thanks Coach Jankovic and his team for their hard work during his tenure, and wishes him the best of luck in the future,” said Jankovic, 홀덤사이트 bidding the team farewell.

Jankovic, a native of Serbia, turned to coaching after retiring as a player and spent his career with Tsrvena Zvezda, Serbia’s U-21 national team, and KV Mechelen before connecting with Chinese football in 2018. Jankovic took over as head coach of the Chinese U-19 national team, then the Chinese U-20 and U-23 national teams before taking over the reins of the A team as acting head coach in 2022.

After a successful run at the 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship (formerly known as the East Asian Cup), Yankovic became the full-time head coach in 2023, preparing for the Asian Cup in Qatar and the 2026 FIFA Confederations Cup North America.

However, a poor showing at the Asian Cup led to his departure from the Chinese national team. China crashed out of the group stage of the Asian Cup in Qatar without a single win, and the team was criticized for failing to score a single goal in their three group games. After China failed to reach the round of 16 at the Asian Cup, there were calls among Chinese fans for Jankovic to be sacked, and the Chinese Football Association decided to end his association with the team after the Asian Cup.

Ivankovic replaces Jankovic. Shortly after the news of Jankovic’s departure, the Chinese Football Association announced the appointment of Ivankovic as the new head coach of the Chinese national soccer team.

“In order to prepare for the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, the Chinese Football Association has decided to appoint Mr. Ivankovic as the head coach of the Chinese national football team after a review by experts. Ivankovic, a UEFA professional coach, has coached Hannover 96 (Germany), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Iran’s national men’s soccer team, and Oman’s national men’s soccer team. He also led Shandong Luneng to the Chinese Super League title in 2010.” The official announcement of Ivankovic’s appointment reads.

Born in 1954, Ivankovic has more than 30 years of coaching experience. During his career, he has coached Hannover 96, the Iranian national team, Dinamo Zagreb, Shandong Luneng, Persepolis, Al Ahli, and the Omani national team. He made a name for himself by leading the Omani national team to a victory over Japan, but at the recent Asian Cup, the team was eliminated in the group stage and he resigned after taking responsibility for the performance.

In China, the response has been positive. Chinese media outlet Sohu wrote: “It’s great. Coach Ivankovic will use naturalized players. His past history shows that he is experienced and capable enough to coach the national soccer team.”

“With Ivankovic’s arrival, it is expected that naturalized foreign players will be included in the national team. If the three naturalized players are selected for the national team, the front line of the national team will be greatly improved, and even national striker Wu Lei cannot guarantee his place in the starting lineup,” he said, expressing his hope that the national team will be able to utilize naturalized players as it did under Marcello Lippi.

Earlier, the Chinese national team was linked to former South Korea national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Local Chinese media reported that China was interested in hiring Klinsmann, who was fired from the South Korean national team after the team failed to win the Asian Cup.

At the time, Chinese media outlet Fujian Province claimed that there was hope for Chinese soccer after Klinsmann’s dismissal, arguing that the appointment of Klinsmann could solve some of these problems as there were few qualified candidates. The media outlet claimed that the Chinese Football Association could afford Klinsmann’s salary, making the appointment quite likely.

However, after 11 months in charge of South Korea’s national team and their failure at the Asian Cup, it was unlikely that China would choose Klinsmann. In time, Klinsmann’s name was dropped from the list of candidates for the next head coach of the Chinese national soccer team, narrowing the field to Carlos Queiroz and Ivankovic. China’s final choice was Ivankovic.

With Ivankovic at the helm, China will look to qualify for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup. Drawn in Group C alongside South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore in the second round of Asian qualifying for the 2026 North American Championship, China is third in the group with one win and one loss in their previous qualifying matches. China will face Singapore in a two-game series during the upcoming A-Match in March.

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