Beijing April 7 : Radomir Antic received offers from Chinese clubs last year, but the former Atletico Madrid coach, whose death was mourned by the Chinese clubs and players he coached, declined, a Chinese newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Antic, who was confirmed by Atletico to have died at 71 on Monday, left his mark in Chinese football despite his short spell there, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Last summer, he received invitations from some clubs to coach in China, but he said he wanted to analyze the possibilities of coming to work in China," the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News reported on Tuesday.
Ye Boquan, Antic's interpreter in Shandong Luneng FC which he guided to finish runners-up in the Chinese Super League in 2013, was grateful to the former Serbia player for the knowledge he shared.
"Good players cannot make a good team, but a good atmosphere can. I learned this from him and it became the main principle for me in managing teams," said Ye, now head coach of a fourth-tier club team in Zhejiang province.
Shandong Luneng and Hebei China Fortune FC, the other Chinese club Antic coached, issued statements paying homage to him on Tuesday.
Lu Zheng, a former Luneng player, offered his condolences on his Weibo account.
"I still remember those beautiful days we worked together in 2013. That year, you instilled confidence into Luneng," he said "I learned a lot about football from you which has benefited me so much," he said.