Fabio Cannavaro has won the first major honour of his managerial career with Guangzhou Evergrande sealing their eighth Chinese Super League title just weeks after he looked set to be sacked.
Cannavaro was temporarily stood down from managerial duties in late October to attend a “corporate culture class”.
The club’s owners then decided to restore him as manager after he agreed to “deep self-reflection”.
On Sunday, they beat second-bottom Shenhua 3-0 to secure the title.
Goalscorer Park Ji-soo celebrated his goal by running over to embrace Cannavaro.
Beijing Guoan were two points back in second place while Rafael Benitez’s side Dalian Yifang finished ninth.
Cannavaro, Italy’s World Cup-winning captain in 2006, had been criticised for his “weak ability to rectify mistakes and insufficiently strict handling of players” by his club.
He was also warned to work harder, improve the standard of his coaching staff, and “raise the players’ overall fighting ability to win the Chinese Super League” again.