Marcelo Lippi joins Guangzhou Evergrande as coach
Marcello Lippi has been hired to coach big-spending Chinese
Super League team Guangzhou Evergrande and plans to bring an
Italian style to the club immediately.
Evergrande released a statement Thursday saying it had hired the
World Cup-winning Italian coach until November 2014. Lippi later
appeared at a news conference broadcast live on Chinese television
to discuss his appointment.
”My arrival should be a big deal and the most important thing
in China today,” Lippi said in comments translated from Italian.
”I will start my work today, the same way I did in Juventus and
Inter Milan. The most important thing is to bring the Italian
football concepts to China.”
The 64-year-old Lippi replaces South Korean manager Lee
Jang-soo, who took Guangzhou to promotion and then the 2011 Chinese
Super League title. Evergrande also is the only Chinese club
through to the last 16 of the Asian Champions League.
Lippi led Juventus to five Italian titles over the 1990s and
2000s and Italy to the 2006 World Cup title. He stood down from the
Italian job after winning the World Cup but was reappointed in 2008
and guided Italy to another World Cup, quitting again after the
Azzurri’s shocking first-round exit.
Lippi said he’d been watching Evergrande’s matches for several
weeks, including the Chinese Super League and the Asian Champions
”I almost know all the players now,” he said. ”I am glad to
accept the invitation from Evergrande.”
Guangzhou owner Xu Jiayin’s stated goal is to make Evergrande a
continental powerhouse and Lippi is part of his grand scheme. The
club also broke the Chinese transfer spending record to sign
Argentine playmaker Dario Conca.
”We need everybody to be passionate and confident about it,”
Lippi said. ”I promise to work with my utmost passion and
Chinese soccer has long been mired in corruption and
underachievement. Lippi’s arrival is further evidence, however, of
the drive to use the country’s burgeoning financial strength to
emerge from its lowly status at both club and international level,
where it lags far behind neighbors South Korea and Japan.
Shanghai Shenhua made world headlines at the start of this year
by signing ex-France international Nicolas Anelka, who has since
been promoted into a major coaching role. Shanghai has also been
linked with a move for Anelka’s former Chelsea teammate Didier