Lippi to discuss future with federation

July 10, 2006

DUISBURG, Germany, July 10 (Reuters) - World Cup winner Marcello Lippi is to discuss his future as Italy coach with the Italian Soccer Federation on Tuesday.

Lippi, whose contract ends later this month, led Italy to victory over France on Sunday and within hours Italian media were reporting he would be stepping down.

But the coach told a news conference on Monday: 'I have an appointment tomorrow with (Italian federation vice-president) Giancarlo Abete.

'I am not going to talk about it today. I won't talk about it with you before I have discussed it with Dr Abete.'

Lippi, 58, made it clear, however, he would continue working as a coach, saying: 'When someone gets to 70 or 68 or 65 they might decide to call it a day. I intend to continue in my work.'

Asked whether he had decided where he would continue his coaching career, Lippi responded only with a wry smile.

The silver-haired coach was careful with his words when a reporter queried what, after winning the World Cup with Italy and the Champions League with Juventus, he had left to achieve in the game.

'What I want to continue to have is the same relationship of co-involvement in my next work, whoever it will be with, whether it is with the national team or not with the national team,' he said.

Lippi added that wherever he would be his challenge would be to find fresh motivation in his work.

'When you reach the peak, it feels good but you also realise how difficult it has been to get there. The challenge is to find new stimuli,' he said.

Lippi said he had thoroughly enjoyed his two years in charge of the Azzurri.

'Being in charge of the national team is very different from being at a club. You spend less time with the players, apart from in this past month of course, but the feeling you get with the national side is something I have never had.

'I've experienced everything at club level but there is something very special about the national side,' he added.