Paolo Cannavaro will link up with brother and Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao head coach Fabio in China after the Sassuolo defender announced his retirement.
Cannavaro will farewell Sassuolo when the Serie A side face Roma on Saturday before joining the seven-time reigning Chinese Super League champions.
The 36-year-old is set to assist former Italy international and World Cup-winning defender Fabio, who is back as Evergrande boss after replacing Luiz Felipe Scolari in November.
“I wanted to leave a mark on and off the pitch,” Paolo Cannavaro told reporters. “My ambition was too strong, and for this, I thank president [Giorgio] Squinzi and [Giovanni] Carnevali. They’re giving me an opportunity that isn’t easy to grant midseason.
«In questa società mi sono sempre sentito a casa. Grazie a tutti di cuore»
— U.S. Sassuolo (@SassuoloUS) December 28, 2017
“There are human values and fantastic alchemy here, which you don’t get at other clubs. I’m leaving home.
“I’ll assist Fabio 360 degrees as a technical collaborator. I can coach those who play less during the season.
“It’ll be a full-on experience for me, a huge leap. Saturday? It’ll be a strange feeling. I won’t miss the field because it’s a decision I’ve made, but I will miss being around my team-mates.
“China? The city will be new. I’ve been there twice but only for summer tours. Only lately have I been preparing myself for it because I was too focused on doing well here until the last day. It’ll be a new year and a new life.
“Knowing that I’m quitting football but still doing something that keeps me busy is a privilege. Chinese will be difficult to learn, so we’ll settle for English.
“Relationship with Fabio? I haven’t had much of a life with him. Getting back together didn’t happen for several years.
“I wanted us to do so in the future as opportunities always presented themselves. I can’t wait to start.”
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