Former Italy CT Marcello Lippi has officially stepped down as China Coach after their exit from the Asian Cup. Lippi’s contract was due to expire after the tournament in Qatar, but his departure was brought forward by China’s 3-0 defeat to Iran in the quarter-finals on Thursday. “I want to thank everyone,” he said at a Press conference. “This game closes my contract with the Chinese national team. It was a truly great honour for me to lead the team of a country as important as China.” The 70-year-old took charge of the Asian nation in 2016 and guided them to within a point of the playoffs for the World Cup in Russia. Despite his age, the ex-Juventus and Napoli boss – a world champion with Italy in 2006.