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Marcello Lippi rules out Juventus return

Italy coach Marcello Lippi has firmly denied that he will return to his former club Juventus once the Azzurri's World Cup campaign has come to a close next summer.

Juventus are in the midst of a difficult run of form having lost five of their past six games in all competitions and speculation is inevitably surrounding the position of coach Ciro Ferrara, who was appointed on a permanent basis in June.

Lippi remains a popular figure in Turin having won five Serie A titles and the 1996 Champions League with Juve and he has not committed to remaining as Italy manager beyond the 2010 finals in South Africa.

However, a return to the Bianconeri is distinctly unlikely, according to the man himself. Lippi told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I don't know what I will do after the World Cup but I will not return to Juve, neither as coach nor director."

Ancelotti won the 2006 World Cup with Italy before quitting the national post. However, he returned to coach the Azzurri once again in 2008 following the departure of Roberto Donadoni.

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