Saturday September 7 2019
Lippi: 'I almost joined Tottenham'

Marcello Lippi revealed Sir Alex Ferguson “was almost like a brother” to him, he tried to sign Roy Keane and almost left Juventus for Tottenham Hotspur.

The former Juventus Coach famously exchanged gifts with Fergie when facing Manchester United in the Champions League.

“Yes, he was almost like a brother to me,” Lippi revealed in an interview with Sportsmail. 

“We exchanged many gifts. I brought him the Turin gianduiotti (chocolate) for his grandchildren but he ate them in the end.

“Even the wine, the good one from my Tuscany. He loved sending me the Matrioskas, the Russian ones, with boxes in the boxes containing his 1971 Whiskey Maccallan. One day I have to call Alex and ask him for another box.

“He was in love with a wine he called 'Tigno'. In reality it was called 'Tignanello' but he was convinced it was wrong. We made a bet and called the sommelier of that restaurant: I won! We used to send wine suggestions by mobile phone: he was a big fan.”

Juve and Manchester United clashed over the years and some players almost made the move to Turin.

“I loved Roy Keane. He was very close to moving to Juventus, but then failed to negotiate. I also loved Paul Scholes: he would have liked it anywhere and always played. 

“(Ole Gunnar) Solskjaer was very good as a player and I hope he will do very well as a Coach: he deserves it.”

Lippi also confessed he almost made it to the Premier League as a tactician.

“Yes, I was very close to Tottenham when I was coaching Juventus. They were very nice to me by contacting my son Davide.

“But I didn't feel like leaving Turin and Juventus. For me, Juve was like Manchester United for Ferguson: a unique club that I loved to bits. 

“I didn't speak English well and that was also a reason I declined. Someone told me that Ferguson also didn't speak English well because he was Scottish!”

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