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Lippi: Too many teams in Club World Cup

The Italian led his Guangzhou Evergrande side to the semi-finals of this year's competition, which sees the champions of each continent compete against one another, losing 3-0 to UEFA Champions League winners Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

And Lippi believes the encounter highlighted a gulf in class which is detracting from the prestige of the event.

"It is fascinating that this tournament saw teams from six continents competing," he said. "But it could be more fascinating with just one game between the two sides that has won the Champions League in Europe and the champions in South America, the Copa Libertadores.

"The tournament should have just one game, it could be more fascinating because they are the best teams in the world.

"But it is open to other continents, including a team from the host nation, and this way it loses a bit of brilliance.

"However, if the final will have Bayern Munich against Atletico Mineiro with their important players, the final will be of a high level and there will be a lot of interest from the media point of view."

But Lippi, who has won the UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League and FIFA World Cup as a coach, was full of praise for his charges.

"When I arrived in China it was unthinkable what we did - winning two Chinese Super League titles, one Chinese Cup, one Asian Champions League and getting to this semi-final," he continued.

"This evening (Tuesday) we have seen the difference between the strongest team in the world, and the rest of the teams."