JINAN, China, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — Marcello Lippi said on Sunday he will not be the head coach for Chinese Super League (CSL) club Guangzhou Evergrande next sesaon, but will play the role as the team’s chief technical officer.
Guangzhou Evergrande tied 1-1 with Shandong Luneng here on Sunday, and grabbed the league title for the fourth consecutive time, three of which in Lippi’s rein.
"It is my last match as a head coach for the club," said Lippi at the post-match conference.
Lippi joined Guangzhou in May 2012, starting his coaching career for the first time out of Italy. He has led the club to win three CSL titles, one AFC Champions League and one FA Cup so far.
Evergrande won the AFC Champions League last November, making Lippi become the first coach to win both the European and the Asian club championships.
Unfortunately, the defending champions were ousted from AFC Champions League this August.
"I will be 67 years old in the near future, and I do not want to be the head coach any more; but I will be in charge of technical staff as a member of the coaching team," said Lippi.
As to the sudden decision, Lippi said his physic conditions could not stand the hard work as a head coach.
Lippi noted that there will be a new head coach, and the one will be released next week at a press conference.
As a matter of fact, Lippi signed a new three-year with Evergrande in February this year. The Italian and his coaching team will remain in China until the end of 2017.
When asked about whether he would step forward again if his successor could not produce a good result, Lippi denied the possibility.
"Lippi is a great coach, with outstanding coaching career," said Cuca, head coach for Shandong Luneng after the match.
As manager, Lippi won five Italian Serie A titles, four Italian Supercup, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Supercup and one Intercontinental Cup. 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 team coach in 2006.
He was the first coach to win the most prestigious international competitions both for clubs and for national teams (the Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup in 1996 with Juventus and the FIFA World Cup in 2006 with Italy), a record now shared by Vicente Del Bosque.