Qingdao Huanghai, a team from the Super League, the top division of Chinese football, announced Wednesday the hiring of Soriano Pablo Machín as coach. In a statement published on its official website, the eastern city team added that the coach will arrive accompanied by his assistants Jordi Guerrero (second coach) and Jordi Balcells (physical trainer).
Machín will replace the Basque Juanma Lillo, who left the club to join the Manchester City coaching staff, led by his close friend, the Catalan Pep Guardiola. Under Lillo’s leadership, Qingdao Huanghai was crowned champion of the Chinese second division, China League One last season, thus guaranteeing promotion to the Super League, in which he will compete this season.
In his new team, Machín will lead the Taiwanese Canarian Yaki Yen and other foreigners such as the Serbian central defender Vukovic, the Cameroonian midfielder Minala – known for his time in Lazio, where many questioned his age -, the French winger Alessandrini and the Brazilian striker Cléo.
The Soria coach is facing his first experience outside of Spain, where he headed Numancia, Girona -a team where he became known as one of the most promising technicians on the national scene- or Sevilla.
His last experience on the bench was last season at Espanyol, where he was one of the four technicians who passed through the parica squad throughout the campaign and was also unable to reverse a negative trend that would end with the decline of the club to second division.
The Chinese Super League will begin this Saturday, July 25, with strict security measures, several months after the scheduled start since the coronavirus forced to postpone this date.