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Luiz Felipe Scolari to leave Guangzhou Evergrande but may return to China

The result leaves Luiz Felipe Scolari's Guangzhou Evergrande with an almost insurmountable deficit to overturn.
Guangzhou Evergrande won three league titles under Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Luiz Felipe Scolari has confirmed his expected departure from Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

Scolari steered the club to three league titles as they extended their run to a record seven straight CSL crowns, and won the AFC Champions League in 2015.

The former Brazil coach replaced Fabio Cannavaro in June that year and lifted both the domestic and continental titles at the end of that season.

"My story with Evergrande is finished, but my story with China may continue," 68-year-old Scolari said.

"I will carefully think about it. No one knows where we are heading, but I hope Evergrande can have a bright future.

"I believe some time in the future we will meet again somewhere in the world. I hope we could still greet and embrace each other.

"I don't know if I will come back to China. My football life has taken me all over the world, but China is one the three best places that I've ever worked."

Evergrande won the title with two games to spare this season, seeing off the challenge of a Shanghai SIPG side that invested heavily to bring in coach Andre Villas-Boas as well as Oscar, Hulk and Elkeson.

SIPG finished six points behind Evergrande but knocked Scolari's team out of the AFC Champions League quarterfinals and eliminated them from the Chinese FA Cup in the semifinals.

"This year, the CSL title was not easy to win," Scolari said. "We made it seven times in a row and it means so much to the club and to the club's owner.

"I think this year was the most difficult one since 2011. However, my players made it by overcoming so many obstacles."

Reports in the Chinese media suggest either Carlo Ancelotti or Cannavaro will take over from Scolari.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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