View Full Version : Lippi Back In Charge Of Italy

Len Ganley Stance
26-06-2008, 22:10
Obviously the Italians are getting worried that with qualifying for the 2010 World Cup due to start in September that Ireland who are in the same group as Italy, have a better manager, Seamus (Giovanni) Trapattoni than Donadoni ...........


The Italian Football Federation have moved quickly to plug the hole left by departed Italy coach Roberto Donadoni by re-appointing Marcello Lippi to the position he vacated two years ago.

Lippi led the Azzurri to World Cup glory in 2006 but has now returned to lead the team in their defence of their title in South Africa in 2010 following the decision of the FIGC not to renew Donadoni's contract.

Donadoni left his position earlier on Thursday, four days after Italy crashed out of Euro 2008 at the quarter-final stage following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Spain.

"Marcello Lippi returns as the leader of the Italian national team," read a statement posted on the Italian Football Federation's official website, FIGC (http://www.figc.it), just hours after Donadoni's departure.

"The president of the FIGC, Giancarlo Abete, named the new technical commissioner of the Azzurri as a replacement of Roberto Donadoni.

"Lippi will be presented on Tuesday July 1 at a press conference in Rome."

Donadoni earlier admitted he had been left "upset" by the FIGC's decision not to renew his contract.

The coach came under fire for his side's displays at Euro 2008 which culminated in the world champions crashing out on penalties against Spain in the quarter-finals.

Donadoni signed a contract extension which ran until the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup shortly before the tournament, but it came to light earlier this week that the deal was subject to Italy reaching at least the semi-final stage in Austria and Switzerland.

The former AC Milan player remained bullish over his prospects of staying on to lead the team to South Africa in two years' time despite the groundswell of opposition in his homeland, and on Thursday the FIGC finally parted company with their coach.

At a press conference convened shortly after his departure, Donadoni remained upbeat and admitted that he hoped to be judged on the work he has done since taking over from Lippi in 2006, rather than the disappointments of the past few weeks.

"I'm upset, I'm not going to hide that," Donadoni said. "But I would do it all again. I'm happy with what the players did. They gave their all. It has been a marvellous experience.

"The evaluation of my time in charge will be done on the two years, but you know that when you participate at a tournament like the Euros everything can be decided on incidents."

A brief statement on FIGC (http://www.figc.it) had earlier confirmed Donadoni's departure.

"President Abete today met with national coach Roberto Donadoni in the FIGC headquarters," the statement read.

"In the course of the meeting, as already announced, they reviewed the work carried out in the last two years and how the European Championships had panned out.

"While confirming to Donadoni sincere personal admiration and appreciation for the reliability and skilled professional work which marked his time at the helm of the national side, president Abete also communicated to the coach the FIGC's decision not to renew the contract, which had run to its natural expiry date."

The world champions' Euro 2008 campaign started with a 3-0 hammering by Holland. A shaky 1-1 draw against Romania followed with only a late Gianluigi Buffon penalty save from Adrian Mutu keeping their hopes alive.

They took advantage of that reprieve by beating France 2-0 in a winner-takes-all clash before going down to Spain in a shoot-out after a dire goalless draw.

And the 44-year-old Donadoni, who won 63 caps for Italy in a distinguished playing career, admitted it was painful to have his fate ultimately sealed by the lottery of penalties.

"I'm upset that a penalty kick has determined this situation," he said.

"In these two years my Italy has done something positive and a last game can't cancel that out."

Before Lippi had been confirmed as his replacement, Donadoni was asked whether the re-appointment of his predecessor would come as a surprise.

"Lippi?" he said. They've been talking about that for two years..."

Lippi began coaching in Italy's lower divisions before joining top-flight club Cesena. After stints with Atalanta and Napoli, his big break came in 1994 when Juventus knocked on his door.

He won every possible title with the Bianconeri and after eight years at the club he resigned having become one of the most successful managers in Italian football.

Lippi was appointed to the helm of the Italian national team in July 2004 as the replacement for Giovanni Trapattoni.

The 60-year-old led Italy to the 2006 World Cup in Germany with relative ease, finishing five points clear of their closest challengers in qualifying before going on to lift the trophy after dispatching France on penalties in the final.

Now Lippi has less than three months to reacquaint himself with his players before the defence of the world title he did so much to secure gets under way with Italy's opening qualifier against Georgia in September.