Marcello Lippi has decided not to lead FIFA World Cup winners Italy in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2008™.
The 58-year-old met with Italian Football Federation vice-president Giancarlo Abete before announcing his decision to stand down as coach of the Azzurri. Lippi said: "After an extraordinary experience, both professional and personal, spent in charge of an exceptional group of players and assisted by a first-class coaching staff, I have reached the end of my time with the Italy team. I have therefore told the federation that I wish to stand down."
Lippi took charge of his country's footballing fortunes in July 2004, succeeding Giovanni Trapattoni, and lost only two games - against Iceland and Slovenia. His reign reached the perfect conclusion when Italy won the World Cup by beating France 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Sunday's final in Berlin. Among the candidates to replace the former Juventus boss are Roberto Donadoni and Alberto Zaccheroni.
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