Thursday April 6 2017
Lippi: 'Conte leader, Sousa will be great'

Marcello Lippi saw many of his former players go on to become Coaches, discussing Antonio Conte, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane and Paulo Sousa.

Lippi’s Juve dominated Italian football in the late 1990s, winning the Champions League in 1996 and reaching the Final in ’97 and ’98.

Several of the stars from that squad are now at the helm of top clubs and even country, as Conte is leading the Premier League at Chelsea, Zidane won the Champions League with Real Madrid, Sousa is at Fiorentina and Deschamps on the France bench.

“Conte was a leader who set the example, he’d drag everyone forward with him, not just on Sunday, but also during training sessions,” Lippi told Sky Sport Italia.

“In midfield I had him, Deschamps, Sousa and then Zidane arrived too, all of them going on to become great Coaches. Whatever I did there, I was sure that the team would succeed.

“Antonio has become a really strong Coach, as he gives his identity to every team he works with. I’m sure he’ll win the Premier League. He is not the type to let anything go, as he always expects the ultimate commitment in every area.

“Deschamps was already a Coach in midfield, he had such tactical understanding. Zidane was more of a leader on a technical level and I liked the way he dealt with life after retirement. He has shown great wisdom and intelligence, immediately getting big results and this season is confirming it wasn’t a fluke.

“I talked tactics a lot with Sousa and I can see he’s really well-versed in these issues. His first season at Fiorentina had some wonderful modern football, made up of aggression and important tactical elements.

“I think Sousa is destined for great things in his career.”

Is it a coincidence that all these former midfielders ended up becoming Coaches?

“If you play in midfield, you have a different mentality and way of viewing the game,” concluded Lippi.

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