Ventura ahead of his debut as Italy coach: “I want the team to pick up where they left off at the Euros”

The Italy coach talked once again about the wingers and reiterated his intention to gradually introduce all the young players into the team, even if they maybe don’t suit a 3-5-2 formation. “I hope they will become crucial players in our team in the future. A new generation will slowly change the face of the team and we cannot let it happen without a plan. We have to help these young players integrate into the team. Berardi? He is a very important player, hopefully soon for our team as well.” Ventura also praised Marco Verratti, who rejoined the Italy squad after missing EURO 2016 because of an injury: “He has a lot of potential, but his progress was halted by his injury. The fact that he’s still young gives him the opportunity to still experience what he missed out on. He’s a crucial player for our national team.” Gigi Buffon addressed the media alongside Ventura in Bari. Italy’s captain will win his 162nd cap tomorrow. “I feel very good from a physical point of view. The most important thing is to have the energy to play in a game like tomorrow’s. This team knows what it needs to do to reach the top. The appointment of this coach will give us the continuity to carry on the work done in the past and even improve it. We are ready to embrace’s the new manager’s ideas. Our desire is cry once again, but this time we want to spill tears of joy.” Buffon will face his former Juve teammate Paul Pogba tomorrow evening. “He was a leader at Juventus. He will be even more so at Manchester United and France.” Italy’s captain also spoke about youngster Gianluigi Donnarumma, with many seeing the Milan goalie as Buffon’s eventual successor: “It’s not surprising at all finding him here, he’s doing exceptional things. After what we have seen so far, he is destined for greatness. Everything that he has achieved so far is down to his talent and hard work.” Squad list Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Federico Marchetti (Lazio);
Defenders: Luca Antonelli (AC Milan), Davide Astori (Fiorentina), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Angelo Obinze Ogbonna (West Ham), Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan), Daniele Rugani (Juventus);
Midfielders: Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), Giacomo Bonaventura (AC Milan), Antonio Candreva (Inter), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain);
Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Eder Citadin Martins (Inter), Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Leonardo Pavoletti (Genoa), Graziano Pellè (Shandong Luneng). Staff – Head Coach: Gian Piero Ventura; Assistant Coaches: Salvatore Sullo, Paolo Vanoli and Gianluca Spinelli; Secretary: Mauro Vladovich; Fitness coaches: Alessandro Innocenti and Giovanni Brignardello; Team Doctors: Enrico Castellacci and Carmine Costabile; Physiotherapists/Masseurs: Fabrizio Scalzi, Emanuele Randelli, Alfonso Casano and Pasquale Raia. Italy’s schedule for the matches against France and Israel in September:
Thursday 1st September                                                                                          
At the end of the match, there will be a press meeting and players will return to the hotel for dinner
Friday 2nd September
17:30 Training at the Stadio San Nicola (first 20’ open to press)
Saturday 3rd September
10:30 Training at the Stadio San Nicola (first 20’ open to press)
followed by meeting with the press
17:00 Training at the Stadio San Nicola (closed)
Sunday 4th September         
10:00 Training at the Stadio San Nicola (closed)
15:15 Chartered flight from Bari to Tel Aviv departs                                                                            
19:05 (18:05 CEST) Chartered flight arrives in Tel Aviv and squad transfer by bus to Haifa (1h 20mins) 
20:45 (19:45 CEST) Pitch inspection at the S. Hofer Stadium and press conference with head coach and one player
Followed by transfer to hotel                    
Monday 5th September
Followed by meeting with the press and transfer to hotel
Tuesday 6th September
12:30 (11:30 CEST) Chartered flight leaves Tel Aviv for Milan Malpensa via Rome Fiumincino
*NB: You are kindly reminded that access to the National Training Centre in Coverciano, the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, and the S. Hofer Stadium in Haifa will only be permitted to accredited Media staff who have received accreditation via before 23rd August 2016 ( – Area Media – Info per le Redazioni). ]]>