Football: Marcello Lippi to net millions as China coach - media

China's national football coach Marcello Lippi (seen here in 2013) was hired to help the country qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
China's national football coach Marcello Lippi (seen here in 2013) was hired to help the country qualify for the 2018 World Cup. PHOTO: AFP

Beijing (AFP) - Marcello Lippi will earn almost €4.5 million (S$6.83 million) a year as China coach but will pocket far more through a tie-in with a football academy, state media said on Sunday.

The 68-year-old Italian was named boss of the national team by the Chinese Football Association on Saturday and has the tricky goal of steering the Asian giant to qualify for the 2018 World Cup - a near impossible feat given recent losses to Uzbekistan and war-torn Syria.

Lippi's annual salary "should be in the region of €4.5 million" said state broadcaster CCTV on an official social media account. But the offer made to the Italian also includes income from Guangzhou Evergrande's football academy which will pay "Lippi and his team" €15.5 million annually to act as official "advisors" for the establishment, CCTV said.

The club, which is riding high atop the Chinese Super League, did not confirm the figure when contacted by AFP.

Lippi coached Evergrande to great heights, leading the side to three consecutive Super League titles between 2012 and 2014. He was due to work with the club next season, but Evergrande announced on Saturday it was breaking the agreement so the Italian could take the reins at a national level.

Lippi is committed to Guangzhou's football academy until "the end of January 2019", CCTV said.

The CFA did not give details about the length of Lippi's contract.

The Southern Metropolis Daily, based in Guangzhou, quoted sources close to the Italian as saying that "as well as the CFA, the highest levels of government also invited Lippi" to coach the national side, a move that had "a direct bearing on his decision".