Guangzhou Evergrande fans mobbed Luiz Felipe Scolari as he departed from Guangzhou airport on Wednesday night.
The 69-year-old coach led the Chinese team to three Chinese Super League (CSL) Championships and an AFC Champions League title. Earlier this month, he announced his departure from the CSL.
Italian World Cup-winner Fabio Cannavaro will take over from Scolari. This will be Cannavaro’s second stint as Guangzhou manager after his spell in charge of the team from November 2014 to June 2015.
The farewell of a hero
On June 2015, Scolari was appointed head coach of Evergrande, and after just four months in charge, he had already led the team to a CSL title and an AFC Champions League trophy.
By the end of the 2017 season, after achieving three consecutive CSL crowns, the Brazilian refused to extend his contract, ending his association with the team.
“My story with Evergrande is finished,” the 69-year-old Brazilian said.
“But my story with China may continue. I will carefully think about it. No one knows where we are heading, but I hope Evergrande can have a bright future.”
According to a report in The Sun, thousands of Evergrande supporters made their way to Guangzhou airport to give the Brazilian an emotional send-off.
Fans draped scarfs around his neck and held banners, with one reading: “General Felipe, thanks, from Guangzhou fans.”
Scolari, who managed Brazil to the World Cup title in 2002, hasn’t given any clear indication about his next step.
The legendary coach has managed 22 different teams during his 35-year career.