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Jordi Cruijff (rechts). © epa

Jordi Cruijff stopt als trainer in China

Trainer Jordi Cruijff vertrekt bij de Chinese club Chongqing Dangdai Lifan. De 45-jarige Amsterdammer vindt het na een dienstverband van bijna anderhalf jaar tijd voor een nieuwe uitdaging. De ploeg van Cruijff eindigde dit jaar op de tiende plaats in de Super League, de hoogste afdeling in China.

Cruijff ging in augustus vorig jaar aan de slag bij de club uit Chongqing. De ploeg stond toen onderin en streed tegen degradatie, maar onder leiding van Cruijff wist Chongqing zich op het nippertje te handhaven. Het contract van de zoon van de beroemde nummer 14 werd daardoor automatisch met een jaar verlengd.

,,Het is nu tijd voor nieuwe uitdagingen, maar Chongqing Dangdai Lifan blijft voor altijd onderdeel van mijn voetbalfamilie", schreef Cruijff in een dankwoord op Instagram.

De oud-speler van onder meer FC Barcelona en Manchester United werkte eerder als technisch directeur bij AEK Larnaca en Maccabi Tel Aviv.

From the first day I set foot in Chongqing, I've felt the warm, unwavering support of the club's fans, in both the good times and the bad. Without their backing, it would have been impossible to achieve the targets we set ourselves as a team: to retain our league status in our first campaign together and to finish the season that's just gone in a far more comfortable position, as we enjoyed an even better year than we initially expected to. As I call time on my spell at Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, I wanted my first words of thanks to go to the club's fans for their constant shows of affection, which really touched me, despite the language barrier. I also wish to express my most sincere thanks to the club's owners for having placed their trust in my work to improve the team. I've always tried to give 100% with the invaluable support of my coaching staff, because football is all about teamwork, and that goes for those of us in the dugout too. I want to extend my thanks to each and every one of the club's employees, because without their efforts and kindness we wouldn't have felt at home here. We leave colleagues behind, but have gained good friends in the process. And, last but not least, there are no words to express just how grateful I am to the players. I thank you for having given everything you've got to help the team and to believe in our ideas. As a coach, your spirit of self-improvement and sacrifice has offered me a big lesson. I can assure you that there's no bigger satisfaction in this sport. The time has come to take on new challenges but Chongqing Dangdai Lifan will forever be part of my footballing family. Chongqing Xiongqi!

1,092 Likes, 52 Comments - Jordi Cruyff (@jordicruyff) on Instagram: "From the first day I set foot in Chongqing, I've felt the warm, unwavering support of the club's..."