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Giampiero Ventura officially unveiled as new Italy coach, taking over from Antonio Conte

Former Torino manager Ventura officially unveiled as Italy coach, talks of his vision for the national team.

Giampiero Ventura
Giampiero Ventura takes over the Italian team from Antonio Conte

Giampiero Ventura has been officially presented today as the new coach of the Italian National football team. His appointment had been declared well in advance, and the news that he would replace the outgoing Antonio Conte has now been well known for a while, but today was the day he was finally unveiled to the press and the fans and got a chance to communicate his thoughts and vision for the team. 

Italy played with a lot of heart, pride and tactical finesse at Euro 2016, heartbreakingly going out on penalties to the Germans in the quarter-finals but they made a great impression on the tournament in France. Antonio Conte had already accepted to take over at Chelsea for the 2016-17 season and Italy’s hunt for a new coach ended at the Torino manager Giampiero Ventura. 

Ventura, the 68-year-old Genoa native is a massively experienced manager, in this profession for 40 years now, having started out as the Sampdoria youth team coach in 1976. It was his 5-year spell at Torino that really caught the eye of the Italian Federation, as he got the Turin side to play some great football and finish in respectable mid-table positions throughout his tenure. He was also the manager that got them promoted to Serie A in 2012 with a round to spare. 

“I’m happy to be here,” Ventura started with, in his press conference at Coverciano.

“But I’m above all proud to have been chosen to represent one of the most important footballing nations. I think President Tavecchio, in recent days he’s been very close to me but also Antonio Conte because he left me a team with awareness and a culture of hard work. These are the things that I’ve carried with me on my journey in football. It’s a bit of an advantage, I found I didn’t have much time so to have some sort of a foundation helps me.

The Euros made us aware that, through organisation and awareness, solidity and sacrifice and through togetherness we can achieve important objectives. For those objectives we need everyone.”

When asked about what style of play he will look to implement on the Nazionale, he said

“Any style of play, if done right, will pay dividends. If it’s done wrong, it won’t. When you want to get a result you can’t rely on individuality or chance - you all have to push in the same direction. Conte’s football worked for a particular time, the players on the bench when Lippi won the World Cup were great names, the ones who went to the Euros still have to work to reach that level. Conte’s style was important to get results, but we’ll work to improve.”

When asked what formation he will seek to employ, he hinted that Italy’s set of talented wingers could find more playing time in his reign, 

“The formation? Football gives you different things, now Italy can offer an infinite number of wingers - El Shaarawy, Bonaventura… as many as you want.

“The 3-5-2 formation penalises wingers. Our first aim is to qualify for the World Cup, we need to have the patience for gradual growth, but it’d be a shame not to take advantage of this quality.”

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