In soccer, it is well known that abilities of certain individuals do not always correspond to the level of the environment in which they function. As a matter of fact, history has provided numerous examples of great men with excellent skills that, at some point of their careers, worked in teams or leagues that were decisively under their level.
The 65-year-old doesn’t need any introduction. Over the course of his entire career, he has won at least one edition of every single tournament he has played, including the 1996 European Champions League with Juventus and, more importantly, the 2006 World Cup with the Italian National team.
In addition, Lippi’s heritage represents one of the richest and most glorious of the soccer world — not only thanks to his capabilities of achieving prestigious titles, but also for doing so while teaching the beautiful game to his opponents and the world as a whole. In fact, it is not a coincidence that along with Arrigo Sacchi he is still recognized for his immense legacy that, more than a simple system, represents an authentic school for soccer coaching.
Not in vain, even Sir Alex Ferguson, the historic Manchester United manager, admitted that he built his best generation of players of 1999 inspired by the Juventus of the 1990s, managed of course by Lippi, which even reached three consecutive Champions League finals.
Lippi’s last successes are now coming from a whole new world, precisely in China, where he has brought glory to his current team. Moreover, he became the first coach in history in being able to win two different Champions League titles of two different continents, as he won the Asian version of it earlier this year. This victory allowed him to become an authentic hero of two worlds.
In addition, it also allowed him to compete for the FIFA Club World Cup, a tournament that he already won with Juventus in 1996 when it used to be named Intercontinental Cup.
In this year’s edition, however, Lippi had to submit to the obvious superiority of Bayern Munich in the semifinals, which ended in a 3-0 loss to the German side. This outcome could not have been otherwise as his Chinese roster cannot even begin to compete against the world’s best team.
For this reason, reaching the semifinal and having the courage of stepping into the field with the only intention of fighting against the German giants is already a glorious win for the 2006 World Cup winning coach.
Without a doubt, Lippi’s legacy will help Asian soccer to take important steps toward improvement in terms of level and structure. In the meantime, Italian soccer will also be waiting for future managers to take on this legacy in order to reach another World Cup title.