Lippi: Conte's Juventus is modeled on mine

The former Bianconeri boss believes the current team has the same spirit he instilled during his two spells in charge, and he is backing the club to retain the Serie A title.
Former Juventus coach Marcello Lippi believes Antonio Conte's current crop shares the same never-say-die attitude he demanded during his time at the club.

Now in charge at Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, the 64-year-old remains a legend in Turin, having won the European Cup with the Turin club in 1996, and is full of praise for the job done by the former Siena coach.

2011-12 GOAL.COM 50 WINNER:
The Portuguese superstar has topped our definitive countdown of the finest players from 2011-12. Click here to view our slideshow from 50-1!
"Conte's Juve is like mine for motivation, commitment and desire to win," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "[Winning the Scudetto] was a tremendous achievement. Now he [Conte] has a great team with a philosophy of play, competitiveness and a clear 'Juventinita'."

Juve is back in competitive action this Saturday when the club faces Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana in Beijing.

Lippi is tipping to Juventus to retain the Serie A title, but admits that the team must work hard to reestablish itself among Europe's elite.

"[Juve should have] the aim to have fun and be ambitious. The team is competitive, their new purchases are strong; Buffon and Pirlo are champions," he said. "[In the league] I do not see strong teams like Juventus.

"In Europe there are two teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid, in front of everyone. Then there is a group of five or six teams including Juve. The key is the belief in the work and its quality. The thought of being able to beat anyone."

Off the pitch, Juventus and Conte are embroiled in fresh allegations of match fixing, with a member of the backroom staff, Cristian Stellini, tendering his resignation on Monday. Lippi is adamant, however, that Conte is innocent of any crooked dealings.

"I know Antonio is a person of true clarity and seriousness. I do not think he did anything wrong," he added.