Lippi rejects Juventus rumours
Italy coach Marcello Lippi insists he will not be returning to Juventus after the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
Speculation has been rife for several months that Lippi, whose contract at the helm of the Azzurri expires at the end of the tournament, will join the Bianconeri as director of football. But the FIFA World Cup-winning coach, who has completed two spells in charge of Juventus totalling eight years, has categorically denied that he is planning a return to Turin.
"I don't know what I will do after the World Cup. I have said it a billion times, that I will not be returning to Juventus, neither as coach, nor as technical director," Lippi said.
Lippi won a staggering array of trophies during his years at the helm of the Italian giants, steering them to five Serie A titles and the UEFA Champions League final on four occasions - winning it in 1996. These days, it's a different story at the Stadio Olimpico and Juventus appear to be going through a slump under Ciro Ferrara.
The team were widely booed by fans on Sunday following a 2-1 home defeat to rock-bottom Catania, the Bianconeri's fifth loss in six games. However, Ferrara was handed a vote of confidence after the game and Lippi believes the club are right to back their young coach.
"I believe that the Juventus that was thought about and built in the summer, has never played yet," he said.
"First Sissoko was ruled out for five to six months, then Iaquinta, then Marchisio. Alessandro Del Piero has hardly ever been available. It's obvious then, in this context, that after all this, moments of difficulty come up, they have lost a few too many games. Now a situation of insecurity has been created, a bit of fear. Honestly, some players are playing with fear.
"Ferrara will have made some mistakes, certainly, because he is a young coach, who doesn't have experience, but he has personality, charisma, has clear ideas and is a coach who, in my opinion, can do well."