Former Barcelona and Arsenal star Giovanni van Bronckhorst quit yesterday after one season as coach of Guangzhou R&F so he can return to his family.
The former Dutch international’s spell in China was badly disrupted by the coronavirus, with the Chinese Super League starting five months late. “It’s been a very difficult year for me, for everyone,” the 45-year-old told Chinese media, after R&F confirmed that he had quit. “Although working with the club, the team, the players and my staff was really nice… not seeing my family for me was — and is — the only thing (reason) I want to go back. I’m very happy that the club worked really well with me in this case (accepted his resignation) and it was a hard decision because I have a very good relationship with everyone here and really enjoyed my time working with the players. But eventually, my family comes first.” Van Bronckhorst, a 2006 UEFA Champions League winner as a player with Barcelona, took R&F to 11th in the virus-hit CSL, having been named as boss in January. The side finished 12th the year before under ex-Yugoslav international Dragan Stojkovic. On Wednesday it went out in the quarterfinals of the CFA Cup on penalties.