• Kyodo

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Former Greek national team manager Michael Skibbe will take the reins at Sanfrecce Hiroshima next season, the J. League first-division club announced Thursday.

The 56-year-old German will replace Hiroshi Jofuku, who stepped down from his role with the three-time champions of the top division in late October, leaving assistant Kentaro Sawada as interim manager.

Skibbe, who most recently had a short-lived spell with Saudi Arabian club Al-Ain, has previously managed Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund and Galatasaray.

He has also managed German youth national sides and served as an assistant for the senior national team.

Sanfrecce are currently 10th in the J. League standings with two rounds remaining. They finished sixth in 2019 and eighth in 2020.

One of the J. League’s founding clubs, Sanfrecce won their first top-flight title in 2012 and went back-to-back the following season. They captured their third J1 crown in 2015 and were runners-up in 2018.

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