BEIJING -- Serbian-born Vladimir Petrovic has been appointed as coach of China's men's national soccer team, the soccer association said Friday.
The former Red Star Belgrade star replaces Zhu Guanghu, whose contract with the soccer association ran through last month's Asian Cup tournament, where China failed to get past the group stage for the first time since 1980.
Petrovic, nicknamed 'Pizon,' previously led Chinese champions Dalian Shide from 2004-2006.
Former France international Jean-Pierre Papin and China's successful under-23 coach, Serbian-born Ratomir Dujkovic, were also said to be candidates for the position.
China has enjoyed some success under foreign coaches, making it to the Asian Cup final in 2004 under Dutchman Ari Haan, where it lost to Japan. In 2002, China qualified for its first-ever World Cup under Serbian Bora Milutinovic.