Juventus legendary coach Marcello Lippi spoke to Tuttosport newspaper in an exclusive interview.
“Some time ago your newspaper published an investigation entitled: here are all Lippi’s children..”
“My wife had popped up while I was on that page and I had to reassure her: dear, it’s not what you think (laughs).”
“It seems to me that there are 14 out of the 23 of the 2006 world champion team.”
“And then there are those of Juventus: Zidane, Deschamps who also won a World Cup, Paulo Sousa, Montero, there are many and do you know what that means? That I’m getting old.”
“I don’t know if they’re inspired by me, I don’t know and that doesn’t interest me much to be sincere.”
“I am pleased to hear them, I am very proud to hear them say that they were inspired by me or to see something in their way of training that reminds me of mine.”
“If I inspired them it makes me immensely happy, because it means that I have left something, but also because they are great champions.”
The most similar to me?
“Let’s say that in managing relations with the team I identify a lot with Gattuso.”
“He has a way of work that I’ve always had too. And he often tells me. Gattuso is not just competitive anger, he is someone who knows how to organize his teams, he knows how to manage them.”
Pirlo vs Conte in 2 days?
“When I saw them on the pitch I could already see in their way of interpreting the game their talent as coaches.”
“The truth is that they are two guys of great, very great intelligence, always very attentive to what was happening around them, both in training and in the match.”
“Two who understand football and therefore can explain and teach it.”
Inter – Juve?
“It doesn’t matter a lot in terms of points.”
“Even if Inter were to win and extend, there are still too many games left for it to be considered a decisive game.”
“At the level of mental growth, however, winning or losing can make a difference.”
“Inter are ahead, because Conte has been there since last year, he has improved, perfected, placed the right pieces in the right place.”
“Andrea is making a radical change, is setting a new attitude, trying to play differently and it seems to me that he is starting to reap the first fruits. It will be a wonderful challenge.”
Was Pirlo appointed by “luck”?
“No. Let’s start from a premise: the decision was made after nine consecutive league titles and other assorted triumphs, so Juve can afford it, in order to renew the team and lay the foundations for a new cycle.”
“Then I consider Andrea a person of great intelligence, who knows the environment well and is very well known by the environment and by Agnelli himself.”
“It is a bet, yes, but it is not a gamble, it has its own logic.”
Juve & Inter’s weaknesses?
“Maybe they are both a little too dependent on one man: Lukaku on one side and Ronaldo on the other.”
“Without those two players the potential of the two teams decreases considerably.”
“Well, it is permissible that every now and then he may be tired and have one or two games that are a bit apathetic.”
“But I realize that when he enters the field, for example during a match in progress as in the Italian Cup, the effect is nevertheless disruptive.”
“Opponents say: ouch, this can hurt at any time.”
“The companions take courage: with him, you win. It is an important factor.”
Who was my Juve’s Ronaldo?
“I must say that the strength of my teams has always been the unity of the group, the moral solidity.”
“However, in my career I have been lucky enough to coach people like Del Piero, Zidane, Inzaghi, Nedved, Vialli, etc, who perhaps don’t have Ronaldo’s numbers, but have been decisive and phenomenal players.”
“Then at Juventus they changed them every year! (laughs). For charity, they took off a strong one and inserted a strong one, I couldn’t complain.”
“I admit, I didn’t expect Buffon to still play at 42.”
“Also because he would have an important career as a manager ready, with Juventus or the Football Federation, with a very high level role, because a figure like his deserves it.”
“You can see that he still hasn’t bored going to the field, working and playing. It is beautiful: you continue as long as it is like this.”
Juve and the Champions League?
“When we won the World Cup, 24 years had passed since the last one.”
“Who knows if that is not the period that must pass between one triumph and the next!”
“Seriously, this could also be a good year for Juventus, because teams with coaches like Pirlo, who in his career has always attended the highest levels of football and its competitions, could paradoxically have more problems finding concentration in games that are more banal than the great challenges, see the 3-0 trimmed at the Camp Nou against Barcelona.”