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China coach Marcello Lippi says nothing compares to lifting FIFA World Cup as Italy boss in 2006

Milan: China coach Marcello Lippi said on Wednesday that nothing compares to lifting the World Cup as Italy coach in 2006.

File photo of Marcello Lippi. Getty Images

File photo of Marcello Lippi. Getty Images

"Champions League or World Cup? I won every cup going with Juventus, but none of them compare to a World Cup in Azzurro," Lippi told Corriere della Sera.

Lippi, who turns 70 years in April, led Juventus to five Serie A titles the Champions League title in 1996.

He took over Italy in 2004 and guided them to a fourth World Cup in Germany despite the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal overshadowing preparations.

"The team's psychological situation was fantastic," Lippi said.

"There was exceptional conviction and self-esteem. After that, what happened with Calciopoli happened, but it didn't affect us."

Lippi did not renew his Italy contract after the World Cup triumph but returned for a second two-year stint from 2008 to 2010.

"Now it's important to rebuild a football federation," he said of Italy's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

"Should (Gianluigi) Buffon stay on? Let's leave that to him," he added.

Lippi moved to China in 2012 and led Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande to three league titles before announcing his retirement, only to return as the Chinese national football team coach in 2016.

Lippi said he had been surprised by Asian investment in the Italian league with Inter Milan and AC Milan now under Chinese ownership.

"At first I thought they were interested in growing football, but never that they would buy companies abroad.

"(Inter Milan owner) Zhang (Jindong) and Suning (Group), I know them, (AC Milan owner) Yonghong Li, I had never heard of him before."


Updated Date: Mar 01, 2018 14:58 PM

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