June 11, 2017 / 6:22 AM / 2 months ago

Soccer - Beijing Guoan appoint former Leverkusen coach Schmidt

FILE PHOTO: Football Soccer - Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg - BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany - 21/2/17 Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt and Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay Livepic/Files

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese Super League side Beijing Guo'an have named former Bayer Leverkusen and Salzburg head coach Roger Schmidt as replacement for the recently sacked Jose Gonzalez.

Schmidt, who guided Leverkusen to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League in 2015, was given a two-and-a-half year contract by the former champions after two months of negotiations.

"We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Roger Schmidt as head coach of Beijing Guoan Football Club," the club said in a statement.

"The club believes Mr Schmidt has an advanced football concept, a rigorous work ethic and is good at encouraging and developing young players, which matches the club's needs perfectly."

Schmidt starts in his new role on July 1 and he will take over a team that is currently seventh in the domestic league, 16 points adrift of leaders Guangzhou Evergrande and 10 behind third placed Hebei CFFC, who hold the league's final berth in next year's Asian Champions League.

Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Ian Ransom

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