Lippi eager for ACL triumph with Guangzhou

Guangzhou Evergrande boss Marcello Lippi believes winning the Asian Champions League final would be as satisfying as when he led Juventus to the European equivalent 17 years ago.

Manager Marcello Lippi of Guangzhou Evergrande

Lippi is aiming to continue the rich success he has brought to the Chinese champions with the most prized trophy in Asian club football.

Already Lippi has won back-to-back Chinese titles - arriving in May last year - but standing in his side's way are the K-League winners FC Seoul.

"I give (the AFC Champions League) a lot of importance," the Italian, who led Italy to the 2006 World Cup, said.

"Not only are we talking about the tournament, but also because I've been with this team for two years now and I've seen them psychologically and physically grow and the team is much more organised.

"I would give it a lot of importance to win this tournament. I won the Champions League and this would be at an equal level."

Lippi knows overcoming a Korean side in the final will be difficult - the country has supplied a finalist for the past five years - and the 65-year-old Italian must first take his side to the the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Saturday for the first leg.

"This is my first time having to play the final over two games, so it's something different for me," said Lippi.

"You have to plan out your game and your tactics. It's a decisive game until the last minute of the second game and you have to be really well prepared for both the first match and the second match."

Lippi will be boosted by the returns of right-back Zhang Linpeng and midfielder Zhao Xuri, while striker Muriqui will aim to improve on his competition-best 13 goals.

Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo believes his side need to win on home soil if they are to have any chance of lifting the trophy fo the first time.

"We need to win, winning is very important," he said.

"Our players are more focused on this match compared to a normal match. Guangzhou is a good team and they have money, but we have passion and that's also important and we will concentrate on the match."

Choi will be without Korea international Cha Du-ri at full-back due to suspension with Adilson set to take his place as the hosts look to blunt a Guangzhou front-line that has scored 14 goals in its past four Champions League matches.

The second leg will be played at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium on November 9.



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