KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu returned to Ukraine on Thursday to take over at Dynamo Kyiv in a move that will fire up its rivalry with Shakhtar Donetsk.
The 74-year-old Lucescu previously won eight league titles with Shakhtar, but had been out of soccer for nearly 18 months since working with Turkey’s national team.
“I missed Ukraine. I wanted to return to this country, where I had successful results,” said Lucescu, who has also coached Inter Milan, Zenit St. Petersburg and Romania.
Dynamo, the runner-up to Shakhtar for four straight years, said on Thursday that Lucescu signed a two-year contract. The Kyiv club won the 2016 league title in the last of Lucescu’s 12 seasons at Shakhtar.
“I hope that with the arrival of his coaching team, the winning traditions of Dynamo Kyiv will be revived,” Dynamo president Igor Surkis said in a statement.
Shakhtar won the league title last month, finishing 23 points ahead of Dynamo. The champion will enter the third qualifying round of the Champions League, needing to beat two opponents to advance to the group stage.
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