Slaven Bilic. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING — Slaven Bilic has been appointed head coach of Beijing Guo’an, the Chinese Super League club announced on Wednesday.

The 51 year-old Croatian has signed a contract until the end of 2022, and replaces Frenchman Bruno Genesio, who left Guo’an after his contract expired at the end of 2020.

A central defender in his playing days, Bilic came through the ranks at Hajduk Split, before turning out for German outfit Karlsruhe and Premier League sides West Ham United and Everton.

At international level, Bilic won 44 caps for Croatia, and was an important member of the side which finished third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

After ending his playing career in 2000, Bilic was appointed head coach of Croatia in July 2006, and led his country at UEFA Euro 2008 and 2012.

The Croatian’s most recent job was at Premier League side West Bromwich Albion, but after leading the Baggies to promotion last summer, Bilic was sacked three weeks ago with the club languishing in the relegation zone.

Before taking the West Brom job, Bilic had also had a spell in charge of West Ham, and a varied career has seen him coach teams in Russia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in addition to his native Croatia.

A statement from Beijing Guo’an expressed hopes that Bilic would be able to draw on his vast experience in the new CSL season.