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Lippi to quit as China coach after AFC Asian Cup

Marcello Lippi

Beijing, October 31: China's coach Marcello Lippi will not renew his contract with the national football team after it expires in January, state media reported.

In an interview at a football awards ceremony in Monaco, Lippi said that he wants to return home to his family after working abroad for six years.

During the Italian coach's tenure, the Chinese team's performance has remained lacklustre. In 2018, China failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"I feel I have worked well and we have improved, even though the margin of improvement hasn't been that high, because it was pretty low when we started," he admitted.

The AFC Asian Cup, a regional football tournament, will be held in the United Arab Emirates in January. Lippi's contract with China's national football team is scheduled to expire at the end of the month.

It is unclear whether China's national team has found a replacement for the head coach. A spokesman from the Chinese Football Association said they had no updates to share.

Lippi led Juventus to five Series A titles and their last UEFA Champions League triumph in 1996, as well as guiding Italy to victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup held in Germany.

He took his first coaching position outside Italy six years ago with Guangzhou Evergrande with whom he won three Chinese Super League titles and an AFC Champions League crown in 2013.

Lippi took over the China national side in 2016 and is reported to be the best-paid international coach in the world on wages of between $23m and $27m a year.

With UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid on the lookout for a new coach following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui, Lippi's name may do the rounds, though the well-travelled coach has expressed his desire to be back home with his family.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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    Story first published: Wednesday, October 31, 2018, 13:02 [IST]
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