Ventura: “They were superior physically and in quality, the World Cup is the objective”


His only other defeat came a year ago in his debut in the job during a friendly against France. After nine positive results (seven wins and two draws), Gian Piero Ventura tasted defeat for the first time in World Cup qualification as Spain won 3-0 to move ahead in the race for first with Italy looking at the playoffs. “There was a very obvious difference physically and in terms of quality,” said Ventura. “We got things wrong and gifted them things and made it hard for ourselves. We conceded two goals without another shot on target while De Gea made three important saves. We’re human and they’re a bit less so.”

It’s now key to look to the future and Tuesday’s match with Israel in Reggio Emilia who surprisingly lost to FYR Macedonia thanks to a goal from Genoa’s Goran Pandev. “If one match affects self-confidence, then that means that we’re not competitive. We’re moving forward with a project and one match can’t change everything. The main issue is what we want to do and become, we’ll analyse the game now and a step forward will be made. Our objective is to go to Russia and not be a flash in the pan, but one of the surprises of the tournament.”

“We didn’t do well,” admitted Lorenzo Insigne. “But, these games will help us to develop. We’ll analyse the mistakes made and look to put them right together with the coach. Now, we have to think about Tuesday’s game which is very important. We know that we’ll have to make sacrifices all together in order to go to the World Cup and by sticking together and working hard we can reach our goal.”

Matteo Darmian was another player who wanted to turn the page quickly. “They have great quality, especially on the ball,” he begun. “We go home after a heavy defeat but we look to the future. It’s a loss to a team with great quality and it shouldn’t affect the good work done so far. In three days, we have the Israel match and we’ll prepare as well as possible to forget what happened tonight.”


The best chance for Italy fell for Andrea Belotti but De Gea was there to save his header. “This defeat says that Spain are superior in every aspect at the moment even if it took a free kick for them to take the lead,” said the Torino forward. “They didn’t dominate us though. My regret is not just for the header but the whole match, we wanted to win. We’ll watch the match again and I think that tonight’s experience will give us things to look at because we could have done things better but unfortunately we didn’t.”