Asian giants Guangzhou Evergrande clinched their sixth straight Chinese Super League title on Sunday as they underlined their status as one of the region’s top clubs.
A 1-1 draw with Yanbian Funde was enough to seal the championship with two games to spare as Evergrande stayed seven points clear of second-placed Jiangsu Suning.
The deep-pocketed team from the southern metropolis of Guangzhou also became China’s first AFC Champions League winners in 2013 and regained the title in 2015.
Evergrande were relegated to China’s second tier in 2010 during a corruption crackdown but they won immediate promotion back into the Super League and have not looked back.
Brazil’s Luiz Felipe Scolari is the current coach but Evergrande tore up a deal to bring another World Cup-winning manager, Marcello Lippi, back to the club next season.
Evergrande stepped aside to allow the Italian to take the helm at China’s national team, which is struggling once again in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers.