Tavecchio confirms Ventura as Azzurri coach until 2020

Ventura made his debut as coach of the National team on September 1st 2016 last year. During his first season he has recoded seven wins, two draws (against Spain and Germany) and one defeat. As for the European Qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Italy are in control of Group G with Spain, with the pair currently separated on goal difference after six matches. The upcoming clash between the two sides on September 2nd at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu could prove decisive after the initial 1-1 draw during the first game: “We’ve started on a precise path,” Ventura added. “As we are first with Spain, it means we have done well. What pleases me is the complete planning we have in place. Just reaching the World Cup is not enough, instead we need to carve out our own space as key protagonists. This would mean that we’d built something important. We can now use the ‘planning’ with confidence.”  The generational change promoted by Ventura has also led to a decrease in the squad’s average age (from 31-years during Italy vs. France in September 2016 to 29.3 during Italy vs. Liechtenstein in June 2017), as well as the debut of 11 players in just 10 games (Rugani, Belotti,  Donnarumma, Romagnoli, Zappacosta, D'Ambrosio, Gagliardini, Spinazzola, Verdi, Petagna, Pellegrini). “Qualifying for the World Cup is fine, “ the coach concluded. “But doing so with an average age of 25 would indicate that we’ve achieved something really important. We must be ready when we need to replace players like Buffon and Chiellini. As of today, they can still make a notable contribution to the National Team, although I think it’ll be hard for them at the Euros.”  ]]>