AFC Asian Cup

Lippi's journey with China ends

Marcello Lippi, head coach of China looks on 
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  • Marcello Lippi calls quits on his time as China PR coach
  • FIFA World Cup-winning coach saw his team suffer a quarter-final Asian Cup exit
  • Veteran Italian has been in charge since 2016

China PR head coach Marcello Lippi said that his time at the national team helm is over following his side's 3-0 defeat by IR Iran in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 quarter-finals in Abu Dhabi.

"This match ends my contract with China Team," Lippi said. "For me, it has been such an honour to have coached the team of such an important country like China. I tried my best during the period and the team have improved and got better. I want to thank everyone for your support.

"Perhaps many had expected the eventual result against Iran. But for me it was a match beyond my expectation because we can't make mistakes as such [to lose the game].

"Iran are a strong team and you can't commit mistakes and gift them goals like this. It was all about lack of concentration. It may be a tough game but you can't lose this way.

"I want to thank the players as they made a lot of efforts and put in some good performances in this Asian Cup. We played some good games, although we failed to make it to the last four."

China finished second in their Asian Cup group behind Korea Republic, before edging a last-16 win over Thailand.

Lippi assumed the Team Dragon reins having won three league crowns in as many seasons with Guangzhou Evergrande, plus the club's maiden AFC Champions League title in 2013.

After a long and successful playing and coaching career in Italy's Serie A, Lippi famously led Gli Azzurri to 2006 FIFA World Cup™ glory and returned four years later for an unsuccessful showing at South Africa 2010, as the world champions crashed out in the group stage.

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