5 Azzurri players who deserve a call-up for the World Cup play-off
Azzurri fans would have been frustrated after their national team endured a woeful 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign.
Since Giampiero Ventura was appointed the Italian national team manager in July last year, the 68-year-old has failed to emulate the methods of predecessor Antonio Conte.
Italian fans are still confused how Ventura was chosen over household names such as Carlo Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri or up-comers like Eusebio Di Francesco (now at AS Roma)
The Azzurri were deemed as the weakest Italian team since the 1960s at the Euros last year, but the four-time World Cup champions now have better talent than was available under Conte.
Ventura's bizarre player selections and tactical formations have placed Italy in the unusual position of needing to win a two-legged playoff to qualify for a major competition.
His tactics have failed to get the best out of his players producing disappointing results like the 3-0 loss to Spain and the 1-1 draw with Macedonia.