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By ESPN Staff

Serbian Petrovic appointed as China coach

BEIJING, Sept 14 (Reuters) - China have appointed former Yugoslavia international Vladimir Petrovic as national coach until after next year's Beijing Olympics, state media reported on Friday.

The Serbian's appointment came on the recommendation of compatriot Ratomir Dujkovic, who last year was made coach of China's Olympic team and after the Games is likely to take over the remainder of the qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup.

Former Dalian Shide coach Petrovic signed a one-year contract to replace Zhu Guanghu, who was sacked last month after failing to get China beyond the group stage at the Asian Cup.

'This is a highlight of my career as the coach of the Chinese national team,' Petrovic told the Xinhua news agency.

'I'm looking forward to working with Dujkovic to form up the national team.'

Next month, China face Myanmar over two legs in the preliminary round of Asian qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

China have only made one appearance at the finals, in 2002 under Serbian Bora Milutinovic.

Petrovic, nicknamed Pizon, was coach of Serbia and Montenegro's Under-21 team before taking over at Dalian in December 2004.

He guided the Liaoning Province club to their eighth league title and the China FA Cup the following year.

Petrovic resigned last June with his team in sixth place in the Chinese Super League and out of the Asian Champions League.