Panucci: ‘Missed World Cup over Lippi row’

Christian Panucci confessed to having a spiky personality, as the defender missed out on the 2006 World Cup because he “told Marcello Lippi to go…”

Panucci is now a coach in his own right, but famously clashed with quite a few tacticians, teammates and opponents over his career.

“It’s not that I had a bad personality, I just had a personality,” Panucci told Radio Radio.

“Some people forget that at the end of it all I did win 20 trophies, was playing in the Grande Milan side at 18, for Real Madrid at 23, then Chelsea and Roma.

“Fabio Capello always wanted me in his teams and that cannot be a coincidence. I just had real problems with Lippi, as I told him to go **** himself and that cost me a place in the 2006 World Cup squad. That’s fair.

“I made a mistake with him at Inter, I admit that, but Lippi had a really odd way of dealing with the squad. A lot of players had problems with him, not just me.”

Panucci is now 47 and out of work after a spell on the Albania bench, but there is one job he’s got his heart set on.

“I was contacted by Roma when they fired Eusebio Di Francesco, but nobody was ready to make a decision, so I wouldn’t have gone there just to be a caretaker for three months.

“I think Daniele De Rossi has what it takes to be a coach, but he stopped playing five minutes ago, so tell him I’m in line first for Roma! In all honest, management is more difficult than I thought it would be.”

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