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K League champions Jeonbuk name ex-Mourinho assistant as new head coach

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 29, 2018 - 09:38
  • Updated : Nov 29, 2018 - 14:12

South Korean club football champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors have hired Jose Morais of Portugal as their new head coach.

The K League 1 champions said on Thursday Morais will replace outgoing boss Choi Kang-hee, who will leave for Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian after this season. Jeonbuk clinched their second-straight league title in early October, with six matches remaining on the season.

In this photo provided by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors football club on Nov. 29, 2018, Jose Morais (R), new head coach for the K League 1 club, shakes hands with the team`s general manager, Baek Seung-kwon. (Yonhap)
Choi guided Jeonbuk to six league championships and two Asian Football Confederation Champions League titles during his tenure. Choi has been with Jeonbuk since 2005, with a brief hiatus from 2011 to 2013 to coach the national team.

Morais, 53, will be the first foreign national to coach Jeonbuk.

He served as an assistant to renowned head coach Jose Mourinho on Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea, and the two teamed up for Inter's European treble -- Serie A championship, Italian Cup victory and UEFA Champions League title -- in the 2009-2010 season.

Morais himself has managed six different clubs in Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, England and Ukraine, before arriving in South Korea. Morais cut his coaching teeth with Benfica's reserve squad from 1999 to 2001.

"Given his wealth of experience in European football, we felt Jose Morais was the perfect coach for our club's philosophy,"

Jeonbuk said.

The club's general manager, Baek Seung-kwon, added, "He's a capable coach who can take Jeonbuk to even greater heights. His strategic acumen and experience in winning the European championship will inspire and motivate our players."

Jeonbuk said their current assistant, Kim Sang-sik, will remain on board under Morais. The new boss is expected to bring in some of his own coaches to the staff later.

Jeonbuk will conclude their season on Sunday against Gyeongnam FC. (Yonhap)