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China hires Lippi to take over national football team

BEIJING (AP) World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi was hired Saturday to take over the national football team in the latest sign of China's commitment to becoming a serious force in world soccer.

The Chinese Football Association announced Lippi's hiring after reports circulated this week suggesting a deal was close.

The 68-year-old Lippi led Italy to the 2006 World Cup title, won five Italian league titles as manager of Juventus, and won three Chinese league titles while managing Guangzhou Evergrande before announcing his retirement in 2014.