Shanghai SIPG unveil new coach as Pereira succeeds Villas-Boas… again

Vitor Pereira has succeeded Andre Villas-Boas for the second time in their careers after being unveiled as Shanghai SIPG’s new coach on Tuesday.

The appointment of the 49-year-old ends SIPG’s hunt for a new tactician at the helm, following Villas-Boas’ stunning decision at the end of last month to leave football to compete in next year’s Dakar Rally.

Villas-Boas took charge of the Chinese heavyweights last November and led them to a runners-up finish in both the Super League and FA Cup, as well as the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League.

Nonetheless, given the talent and resources at his disposal, he arguably performed below expectations having initially set his sights on helping SIPG overtake Guangzhou Evergrande as the dominant force in Chinese football.

That task will now fall on the shoulders of Pereira, who also filled the void Villas-Boas left behind at Porto when he took charge of Premier League giants Chelsea ahead of the 2011/12 season.

Pereira won two Primeira Liga titles during his time in charge at the Estadio do Dragao and also had spells at the helm of Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and – most recently – 1860 Munich.

He also comes with previous experience in Asia having left Porto for Saudi Arabian side Al Ahli, where he lasted for just under a year, and will be reunited with Brazilian star Hulk, who previously played under him from 2011 to 2013.

Prior to Villas-Boas’ shock resignation, the former Chelsea and Tottenham manager was still expected to stay on for 2018, although a disappointing loss to neighbours Shanghai Shenhua in the FA Cup final is believed to have been a significant factor in his departure.