Uefa Mag - Marcelo Lippi: Winning mentality (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Apr 24, 2003
"When they ask me to leave I'll say 'thanks' for allowing me to realise my professional ambitions, to earn a lot of money, to have a fantastic life" - Marcello Lippi

Calcio, coaching and cake

Juventus FC coach Marcello Lippi is the sultan of smooth. Even in a country obsessed by image, he stands out. Yet just below his suave surface is a small-town Tuscan boy from a quiet seaside town called Viareggio. The region's inhabitants are known for their independent-minded, straight-talking attitude and for having a streak of stubbornness wider than the River Po. "Yes, we Toscani are... schietti" - frank, straightforward - Lippi says, flashing an amused smile.

Straight talking
And with typical frankness, the 55-year-old grandfather does not try to deny last May's disappointment when Carlo Ancelotti's AC Milan narrowly beat his team on penalties in the UEFA Champions League final. "It's not as though you can say, 'Ah well, it's only on penalties.' No. You can't rationalise it like that. No. We lost." It is a classic Lippi response. No hiding behind platitudes to pretend it did not hurt like hell.

Trophy cabinet
Lippi is one of the most successful coaches in the history of Italian football. In modern times only Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello's legendary Milan sides have won more silverware. In his seven seasons at Juventus, spanning nine years, he has won five Serie A titles, the Champions League, the European/South American Cup and the Coppa Italia. He also took Juve to three other Champions League finals.

Winning mentality
For Lippi, the key to good coaching is getting the right mindset among the players. "The winning mentality, first of all, comes from winning." But does the coach not transmit that mentality to the squad of players? "No, it's not that I transmit it," he says, modestly but firmly. "The group acquire it with the victory. For example, it's wrong that when a team wins promotion you change the team because you think these men can't compete at the higher level. It's the worst mistake. Thinking that in order to confront that higher technical level of the higher division you need to buy 'more important' players, you end up losing the one asset you have at your disposal."

Juventus success
Lippi explains how he got the best out of the players at Juventus: "In my first year [1994/95] Juve hadn't won the title for nearly ten years, then we started working in a completely different way. We went and won about 12, 13 matches on the trot - in Serie A, the Italian Cup, and the UEFA Cup. It was at that point we acquired the 'winning mentality' because we were all convinced we were doing things in the right way on the pitch. Everyone believed in the project."

'Fantastic life'
Having quit the club twice during the last nine years, Lippi says he will never again abandon The Old Lady. "When they ask me to leave I'll say 'thanks' for allowing me to realise my professional ambitions, to earn a lot of money, to have a fantastic life."

Tasty alternative
And there is always the possibility that he might leave football altogether. He sometimes ponders the great what if. What if he had not been a player and a coach? "I probably would've had a cake shop. That's what my parents did. And, according to a recent survey Italy is the country where offspring are the most likely to follow in the footsteps of their parents. I do like cakes."

This article is an abridged version of an article which appears in the third issue of Champions, the official magazine of the UEFA Champions League, which is now on sale. Click Here to subscribe now.

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Senior Member
Aug 26, 2003
++ [ originally posted by [LAC] ] ++
oh you know what im talking about. you know EXACTLY what im talking about...

ahh shut up.

PS: This thread needs to be moved to the Team Talk forum.
Aug 1, 2003
I love Lippi because, simply put, the man has style and quality. And unlike other coaches, he doesn't show his emotions too much. He gains absolute respect from the Juventus players. Quality, simply quality.

Oh, and it'd be a bonus too that Lippi quit Inter calling them too big headed or something.


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