Marcello Lippi

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
Place of birth Viareggio, Italy
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
China (manager)
Youth career
1963–1969 Viareggio
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1969–1979 Sampdoria 274 (5)
1969–1970Savona (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
2016– China

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

Marcello Lippi, Commendatore OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [marˈtʃɛllo ˈlippi]; born 12 April 1948) is an Italian former professional football player and current manager of the China national team. 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 Supercups, 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 & 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).

Club career

Born in Viareggio, in northern Tuscany, Lippi began his professional career as a defender in 1969. He spent most of his playing years with Sampdoria, where he played consecutively from 1969 to 1978, except for a year on 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

Early 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, he 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.

Juventus and Inter

With his success at Napoli, Lippi became a managerial target for the top Serie A clubs, with Juventus ultimately winning the race to secure his services. He won the Serie A title and the Coppa Italia in his first season at the club, also reaching the 1995 UEFA Cup Final, with a team that included players who would play an important role in the club's future successes, including Gianluca Vialli, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero, Angelo Peruzzi, Angelo Di Livio, Moreno Torricelli, Didier Deschamps, Paulo Sousa, Antonio Conte, Alessio Tacchinardi and Giancarlo Marocchi, as well as Ciro Ferrara, a player Lippi had previously coached at Napoli and who later acted as his assistant with the Azzurri.[6][7] The following season, Lippi guided Juventus to 1995 Supercoppa Italiana and the 1995–96 UEFA Champions League titles. With the arrival of several new key players which included Zinedine Zidane, Edgar Davids, Filippo Inzaghi, Mark Iuliano, Paolo Montero and Igor Tudor, these victories were followed by consecutive league titles, the 1996 UEFA Super Cup, the 1996 Intercontinental Cup and the 1997 Supercoppa Italiana, as well as two more consecutive Champions League finals and another semi-final.[8]

After five highly successful seasons at Juventus, Lippi moved to Internazionale in 1999, leading the club to a fourth-place finish in the league and the 2000 Coppa Italia Final,[8] though he was sacked after suffering a disappointing defeat in the first match-day of the 2000–01 Serie A season, having previously also been faced with significant criticism due to his poor results in his previous season with the Nerazzurri.[2]

Following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, Lippi was subsequently re-appointed as Juventus' head coach for the 2001–02 season.[8] Following the departure of Inzaghi to Milan and Zidane to Real Madrid for a world record fee, the club acquired Pavel Nedvěd, Gianluigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram to reinforce its line-up,[9] and managed to win two further scudetti under Lippi, as he also led the bianconeri to consecutive Supercoppa Italiana titles and two Coppa Italia finals, as well as the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final held at Old Trafford;[2] Juventus lost out to Milan in a penalty shootout, however, after both the teams failed to score during regulation and extra time.[10]

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 Italy 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.

Throughout the 2006 World Cup, Lippi was praised for adopting several tactical systems that allowed his two star playmakers, Francesco Totti and Andrea Pirlo, to play alongside each other and contribute to Italy's offensive play, assisting many of the team's goals.[11] In Lippi's formation, Totti occupied the advanced creative role behind the forwards, while Pirlo was deployed in the deep-lying playmaking role; the two players were supported defensively by hard-working box-to-box midfielders, such as Daniele De Rossi, Gennaro Gattuso, Simone Perrotta and Simone Barone, as well as winger Mauro Camoranesi.[12][13][14] The Pirlo-Gattuso partnership in Italy's midfield, in particular, proved to be extremely effective, as Lippi led Italy all the way to the final of the tournament, where they beat France 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw.[2][12] Led by captain Fabio Cannavaro, the team also drew praise for its defensive solidity, as Italy only conceded two goals throughout the tournament, neither of which occurred in open play.[12]

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.[15]

Three days after the final, Lippi did not renew his expiring contract with the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), and left his office as coach of Italy. He was succeeded by Roberto Donadoni.[16] Under the management of Donadoni, Italy was eliminated at UEFA Euro 2008 at the quarter-final stage, prompting Donadoni's dismissal. On 26 June 2008, Lippi was re-appointed as coach of Italy.[1]

Lippi during the 2010 World Cup.

For the 2010 World Cup, Lippi selected mostly veterans of the victorious 2006 squad, 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 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.[17] 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, replacing Korean manager Lee Jang-soo.[18] 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.[19][20] Guangzhou Evergrande, however, 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. Later that year, Lippi also led the club to a third-place finish in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup.[19] 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.[21] 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.

China national team

On 22 October 2016, Lippi was appointed manager of the China national football team.[22]

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.

ESPN has described Lippi's coaching style and tactical prowess with the following words: "[His] coaching education is broader than most. He worked before, during and after the revolution brought by Arrigo Sacchi. So think of him as a bridge between the old gioco all’italiana and the new, a blend of the traditional and the modern. His teams knew how to man-mark and to play zone. They invited opponents onto them and counterattacked but could also take the game to whoever they were playing and press them in their half of the pitch. Balance was everything. Lippi's starting XIs were never fixed. They were always in discussion and would be adapted according to the opposition."[2]

In 2016, manager Antonio Conte praised Lippi for his coaching skills and tactical prowess, as well as his ability to communicate with and motivate his players to foster a competitive team spirit and a winning mentality; he also went on to describe his experiences as a player under Lippi with Juventus stating: "I remember when Marcello Lippi arrived from Napoli with great ambition and determination. He was very important, as he was able to transmit to us precisely what he wanted. We hit rock bottom with defeat to Foggia, so Lippi said if we have to lose, we’ll go down fighting. From then on we attacked, pressed high and took the game to the opposition. Lippi was excellent at motivating the squad and passing on his ideas. I think the most important thing for a Coach is to have a clear vision and transmit that clearly to his players. Lippi always had that, as well as a great ability to motivate us, even when we played every three days. That Juventus had four consecutive European Finals and if you think back, that was an exceptional achievement."[23]

Career 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
Internazionale 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
China 22 October 2016 Present 0 0 0 0 !
Total 958 445 289 224 46.45




Guangzhou Evergrande[24]


Italy national team[24]



  • Palm Technical Merit: Palma d'oro al Merito Tecnico 2006[32]



  1. 1 2 "Lippi re-appointed as Italy coach". BBC Sport. 26 June 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Greatest Managers, No. 15: Lippi". ESPN. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  3. The top 50 managers of all time – The Times
  4. Shergold, Adam. "Marcello Lippi retires after stellar career that saw World Cup glory with Italy and serial success in Italy and Europe with Juventus". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  6. "Europeran Football: Bergkamp ban lifted". The Independent. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  7. Nada Grkinic (26 May 2003). "Alessandro the Great". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 Greg Lea (5 May 2015). ""A pig cannot coach. Go away, Ancelotti": Abuse, failure and dismay for Carlo at Juventus". FourFourTwo. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  9. James Horncastle (4 May 2015). "Real Madrid vs Juventus a reminder of Carlo Ancelotti's tough time in Turin". ESPN FC. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  10. "2002/03: Shevchenko spot on for Milan". UEFA. 28 May 2003.
  11. "Andrea Pirlo: Where Does He Rank Among the Best Italian Midfielders Ever?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  12. 1 2 3 "Italia 2006: campioni del mondo. Grosso jolly, Cannavaro e Buffon muro: voto simpatia 7,5". Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  13. "Totti fails the final test and leaves a tattered international reputation". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  14. "L'Italia è Campione del mondo Francia ko dopo i calci di rigore" (in Italian). La Repubblica. Retrieved 13 January 2015.
  15. "My most satisfying moment – Lippi". Tiscali News. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  16. "Nazionale, scelto l'erede di Lippi Donadoni è il nuovo ct degli azzurri" (in Italian). La Repubblica Sport. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
  17. "Marcello Lippi accepts responsibility for Italy exit". Guardian. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  18. "关于聘任马塞洛•里皮担任广州恒大足球队主教练的公告". Guangzhou Evergrande official website. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  19. 1 2 "Evergrande win final, reach Club World Cup". 9 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  20. "Asian glory for Ever-grande Lippi". ESPN. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  21. "里皮教练团队正式续约广州恒大足球俱乐部". 28 February 2014.
  22. "Official: Lippi new China coach". Football Italia. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  23. "Conte: 'I didn't want to be a loser'". Football Italia. 29 October 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  24. 1 2 3 "M. Lippi". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  25. 1 2 3 "PALMARES" (in Italian). Marcello Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  26. "Albo "Panchina d'Oro"" (in Italian). 1 February 2010. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  27. "Prandelli vince la panchina d'oro premiato anche l'ex Ct Lippi" (in Italian). La Repubblica. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  28. 1 2 Erik Garin (2 August 2007). "IFFHS' World's Best Coaches of the Year 1996-2006". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  29. José Luis Pierrend (6 March 2012). ""Onze Mondial" Awards". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  30. Jamie Rainbow (14 December 2012). "World Soccer Awards – previous winners". World Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  31. "Hall of fame, 10 new entry: con Vialli e Mancini anche Facchetti e Ronaldo" [Hall of fame, 10 new entries: with Vialli and Mancini also Facchetti and Ronaldo] (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
  32. "Coni: Consegnati i Collari d'oro e diplomi d'onore ai campionissimi". 23 February 2014.
  33. "ONORIFICENZE - 2006". (in Italian). 12 December 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
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
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