Marcello Lippi

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Marcello Lippi
Lippi at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia
Personal information
Full name Marcello Romeo Lippi
Date of birth (1948-04-12) 12 April 1948 (age 71)
Place of birth Viareggio, Italy
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1963–1969 Viareggio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1979 Sampdoria 274 (5)
1969–1970 Savona (loan) 21 (2)
1979–1981 Pistoiese 45 (0)
1981–1982 Lucchese 23 (0)
Total 363 (7)
National team
1971 Italy U23 2 (0)
Teams managed
1982–1985 Sampdoria (youth team)
1985–1986 Pontedera
1986–1987 Siena
1987–1988 Pistoiese
1988–1989 Carrarese
1989–1991 Cesena
1991–1992 Lucchese
1992–1993 Atalanta
1993–1994 Napoli
1994–1999 Juventus
1999–2000 Internazionale
2001–2004 Juventus
2004–2006 Italy
2008–2010 Italy
2012–2014 Guangzhou Evergrande

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Marcello Lippi, Commendatore OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [marˈtʃɛllo ˈlippi]; born 12 April 1948) is an Italian World Cup-winning former professional football manager and player. He served as Italian national team head coach from 16 July 2004 to 12 July 2006 and led Italy to win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was re-appointed as Italian national team head coach in the summer of 2008 and was succeeded by Cesare Prandelli after the disappointing performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[1]

Lippi is regarded as one of the greatest and most successful managers in football history,[2] and in 2007, The Times included him on its list of the top 50 managers of all time.[3] Throughout his career as a manager he won one World Cup title, five Serie A titles, three Chinese Super League titles, one Coppa Italia, one Chinese FA Cup, four Italian Supercup, one UEFA Champions League, one AFC Champions League, one UEFA Supercup and one Intercontinental Cup. He is the first and to date the only coach to win both the UEFA Champions League and the AFC Champions League.[4]

He was named the world's best football manager by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) both in 1996 and 1998, and world's best National coach in 2006.[5] He is the only coach to have won the most prestigious international competitions both for clubs in different continents, and for national teams (the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup in 1996 with Juventus; the AFC Champions League in 2013 with Guangzhou; and the FIFA World Cup in 2006 with Italy).


Playing career

Born in Viareggio, in northern Tuscany, his professional career as a defender started in 1969. He spent most of his playing years with Sampdoria, where he played consecutively from 1969 to 1978, except for a year loan at Savona. In 1979 he joined Pistoiese, being part of the Arancioni 's promotion to Serie A. He finished his playing career with Lucchese.

Coaching career

Lippi retired from active football in 1982, at the age of 34, to pursue a coaching career. Despite never having played for Italy at senior level, Lippi gained experience playing in his country's top flight as a central defender for Sampdoria. His rise to the top of the managerial tree also began at the Genoese club where he started as a youth-team coach. After various stints in Italy's lower divisions, became a head coach in Serie A in 1989 with Cesena. Lippi then moved on to Lucchese and Atalanta. The turning point for Lippi came in the 1993–94 season when he led Napoli to a place in the UEFA Cup. The achievement was all the more remarkable given the financial turmoil of a club still basking in the past triumphs inspired by Diego Maradona.

Lippi was now a managerial target for the top clubs with Juventus winning the race to secure his services. He won the Serie A title in his first season with a team that included Gianluca Vialli and Ciro Ferrara, a player he had coached at Napoli and who later acted as his assistant with the Azzurri.

After five highly successful seasons at Juventus, Lippi moved to Internazionale in 1999, but was sacked after the first match-day having been faced with a lot of criticism due to his poor results in his previous season with the Nerazzurri. He was then again appointed as coach of Juventus for the 2001–02 season and managed to win two other scudetti, also leading the bianconeri to the finals of UEFA Champions League in 2003 held at Old Trafford. Juventus lost to Milan in a penalty shootout after both the teams failed to score during the normal time and extra time.

In March 2007, Lippi managed a Europe XI team who played Manchester United in a UEFA Celebration Match, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome and the 50th year of Manchester United's participation in European competitions. His team lost 4–3 at Old Trafford.

Italy national team

Lippi was appointed head of the Italian national team on July 2004, following a disappointing UEFA Euro 2004 campaign by Giovanni Trapattoni. The Azzurri secured their passage to the FIFA World Cup finals with relative ease and subsequent victories, such as the 3–1 victory over the Netherlands and a 4–1 win over Germany in friendly matches, which raised expectations considerably. During the late weeks of the 2005–06 season Lippi was under scrutiny surrounding the 2006 Serie A scandal (Calciopoli); blamed because of his long-standing ties and previous history with Juventus.

In the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Lippi led Italy all the way to the final, where they beat France 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw.

After winning the World Cup Lippi stated that this was his "most satisfying moment as a coach", even after winning the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Champions League with Juventus.[6]

Three days after the final, Lippi did not renew his expiring contract with the Italian Football Federation, and left his office as the coach of the Italian national team. He was succeeded by Roberto Donadoni.[7]

Under the management of Roberto Donadoni, Italy was knocked of the 2008 European Championships at the quarter-final stage. This performance lead to Donadoni's dismissal. On 26 June 2008, Lippi was re-appointed as coach of the Italian national team[1]

File:Lippi nelspruit.jpg
Lippi during the 2010 World Cup.

For the FIFA 2010 World Cup, Lippi selected mostly veterans of the 2006 champions, omitting younger players such as Mario Balotelli and Giuseppe Rossi, in addition to notable players such as Antonio Cassano. It was announced on 30 May 2010 that after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Lippi would step down as national coach to be succeeded by Cesare Prandelli.

Italy's performance at the 2010 World Cup was extremely poor, drawing 1–1 with both Paraguay and New Zealand before losing 3–2 to Slovakia and finishing bottom of the group.[8] Lippi resigned after the Slovakia defeat.

Guangzhou Evergrande

On 17 May 2012, Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande announced that they had officially signed Lippi on a two-and-a-half-year deal worth around 30 million euros, replacing Korean manager Lee Jang-Soo.[9] Lippi's first official game in China came three days later on 20 May, in a 1–0 home victory against Qingdao Jonoon. He achieved a double in his first season at the club by winning the league and domestic cup titles. In his second season, on 2 October 2013, Lippi led his side to the 2013 AFC Champions League Final for the first time in the club's history. Four days later, on 6 October, he led Guangzhou Evergrande to win their third consecutive Chinese Super League title by beating Shandong Luneng Taishan 4–2 away. In the final of the 2013 AFC Champions League, his side defeated FC Seoul to win the club's first Asian title.[10][11] However, Guangzhou Evergrande was later defeated in the two-legged final by Guizhou Moutai in the Chinese FA Cup, hence unable to achieve the first continental treble in Asia. On 28 February 2014, Guangzhou Evergrande announced that they had officially extended Lippi's contract on a three-year deal, keeping him at the club until 2017.[12] On 2 November 2014, Lippi publicly declared that he had retired from coaching after having guided Guangzhou Evergrande to their fourth successive league title. He continued with Guangzhou as the director of football. However, he resigned from the club on 26 February 2015.

Coaching philosophy

In his book Il Gioco delle Idee: Pensieri e Passioni da Bordo Campo (A Game of Ideas: Thoughts and Passions from the Sidelines), Lippi outlined his coaching philosophy. Lippi emphasizes the importance of team spirit and team unity. Lippi likens a psychologically well integrated football team to the functioning of a psychologically healthy family. On the strategic aspect of coaching, Lippi emphasizes the importance of the mutual relations between players. Players must all follow the same plan and play for each other, "not" for themselves. Lippi argues that "a group of the best players do not necessarily make for the best team." What is more important, he argues, is that the tactical plan or formation is one that allows each player to maximize (1) his utility for his teammates and (2) the expression of his full potential. Lippi also notes that the choice of tactical formation is constrained by the qualities of the players available. Thus, selecting the best possible team not only requires finding the right combination of players for the chosen formation, but also finding the right formation for the chosen players.

Managerial statistics

As of 2 November 2014
Team From To Record
Pld W D L Win%
Pontedera July 1985 June 1986 34 10 17 7 29.41
Siena July 1986 June 1987 34 5 14 15 14.71
Pistoiese July 1987 June 1988 34 10 15 9 29.41
Carrarese July 1988 June 1989 34 10 16 8 29.41
Cesena July 1989 June 1991 72 13 25 34 18.06
Lucchese July 1991 June 1992 42 9 22 11 21.43
Atalanta July 1992 June 1993 36 14 9 13 38.89
Napoli July 1993 June 1994 36 12 13 11 33.33
Juventus July 1994 8 February 1999 244 137 65 42 56.15
Inter Milan July 1999 2 October 2000 50 25 11 14 50.00
Juventus July 2001 June 2004 161 90 39 32 55.90
Italy 16 July 2004 12 July 2006 29 17 10 2 58.62
Italy 26 June 2008 25 June 2010 26 11 10 5 42.31
Guangzhou Evergrande 17 May 2012 2 November 2014 126 82 23 21 65.08
Total 958 445 289 224 46.45



Guangzhou Evergrande[13]


Italy national team[13]



  • Palm Technical Merit: Palma d'oro al Merito Tecnico 2006[21]



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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Louis van Gaal
UEFA Champions League Winning Manager
Succeeded by
Ottmar Hitzfeld
Preceded by
Luiz Felipe Scolari
FIFA World Cup Winning Manager
Succeeded by
Vicente del Bosque
Preceded by
Kim Ho-kon
AFC Champions League Winning Manager
Succeeded by
Tony Popovic