Italy have been given a major boost with regard to the World Cup 2018 and the future tournaments after manager Giampiero Ventura has signed a new contract with the national team.
He will now be in charge of the team until 2020 when the European Championship is held. The 69-year-old came as the new national team coach for Italy when Antonio Conte decided to step down in the summer of 2016. Since taking over, he has been able to keep Italy on the fringes of qualification to the World Cup 2018. Even though Italy may be second in the World Cup qualifiers and the position may result in a possible play-offs for the team, it is widely known to being placed in the group -containing former world champions Spain.
The results shown by Italy so far in the qualification campaign are a major sign that the team will face no issues with regard to reaching Russia. The team has managed to pick up five victories and a stalemate in the six matches. They trail Spain only on goal difference. The longevity of a manager is extremely important for stability in the national team. Continue reading
Manchester United have been linked with a move for Torino striker Andrea Belotti for a while now.
However, the deal is going more unlikely as the days go by. The rated talent of the player and his young age of 23 is emboldening the Serie A outfit to ask for nothing less than £85 million. With the numerous top sides keen on signing him the huge fees are a turn off.
United are also having a hard time convincing Real Madrid to lower their asking price for striker Alvaro Morata whom they have agreed personal terms with. Morata is believed to be excited at the deal that would make him the star striker, with wingers readied to help him bang goals.
United’s bid of £52 million was turned down as Madrid want over £20 million more. Real are willing to sanction the deal but United would need to cough out more cash for the young and proven striker.
Same United have been linked with TiemoueBakayoko of Monaco but they would have to fight off competition from Chelsea. His teammate Fabinho is another attraction but the finer details would determine if United would sign them this summer. Continue reading
Juventus are set to go head to head with Real Madrid on June 3 for a chance to lift the Champions League.
They could end two decades of misery, since their last title in 1996 – when they won their second ever title by defeating Ajax.
Madrid are the slight favourites for the clash though Juventus have a decent squad that can surprise everyone. Madrid are gunning for their third title in four years – making them the most consistent in recent years at the elite football club competition.
The whole of Italy would be gunning for an upset. The defensive capabilities of Juve are top notch no doubt. This season they have demonstrated the importance of defence in football. Since the tournament started last year, Juve have conceded just three goals. They conceded in the group stage to Lyon and Sevilla and the last to Monaco in the semi-final second leg.
However, this time they face a resilient and attacking Madrid side. Juvesuffered a defeat Madrid when they met in the 2013/14 season. Giorgio Chiellini was sent off and Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a brace to help Los Blancos in the group stages. In the 2014/15 season, Juve defeated Real in the semis. They won 2-1 at home before forcing a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu. Continue reading
Giampiero Ventura has clarified that his decision of allowing Andrea Barzagli to leave the national squad had nothing to do with any kind of agreement that he had with his club Juventus.
After the game against Albania which they won by the margin of a couple of goals, Italy had to play another game in three days’ time. So the squad had to stay together and there was no question of any player to be released.
However, Barzagli left the squad much to the surprise of the Italian supporters.
It was suspected that Ventura, who is in charge of the Italian team, might have agreed with Juventus to send the defender back to them for the vital game against Napoli and it was because of that agreement that he let Barzagli go.
But, as per Ventura, there wasn’t a mutual consent between him and the Juventus management and there is never a possibility of that because for him, nothing is a bigger priority than the Italian national side. Continue reading
The Italian national football team became the champions of the world back in 2006 when Italy defeated France in the finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Fabio Cannavaro was the captain of the Italian squad and during that period of time, he was 32 years old while the rest of his teammates had an average age of 28.
This age mark shows that during 2006 edition of the FIFA World Cup, even though Italy was the nation that came out on top and won it, they had a fairly elevated squad with no real youngster that could add explosiveness and energy into the team.
Gian Piero Ventura is the current coach of the Italian national side and he is excited to be in charge of a national team that is so young and different from the team that won the 2006 World Cup. Continue reading
Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri claims that a sixth consecutive league title would be historic for the club.
Juventus have been the dominant force in the Italian football landscape over the last seven years. Former manager Antonio Conte helped them come back from a struggling position into a position where they could win three consecutive league titles. Allegri has carried on from this position and has helped them win the title in the last two seasons. This season, however, is the most challenging with Juventus facing intense competition from Roma for the top spot. If Juventus win the title in this 2016-17 season, they would also become the first team in Italy to win the league title in six consecutive seasons.
There is a high possibility of Juventus winning the title, as they have opened up a four-point advantage with a game in hand over Roma. The second placed outfit suffered a 3-2 loss against Sampdoria during the weekend, and it allowed Juventus to stretch stage advantage further.
Even though there has been the suggestion of Juventus not having proper competition, it can be clearly dismissed once the team manages to win six league titles in consecutive fashion unlike any other team in the history of Italian football. Juventus are dominating the league even after selling midfielder Paul Pogba to Manchester United in the summer.
“The players won and the credit goes to them. There are no secrets, it’s about having good players and a good club. The Coach just has to do as little damage as possible. A sixth Scudetto? It would be legendary for the club, no-one has ever managed to do it. But we have Roma and Napoli behind us, and we face Inter on Sunday. It will be an important game,” said the manager after being crowned as the best coach during the recentGran Gala del Calcio.
Antonio Conte is regarded as one of the best coaches to come out of the Italian Serie A in the last decade.
Alongside the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, they have been the new generation of Italian managers to go around Europe and dominate their specific leagues. Ancelotti is the reigning Champions League winner while Conte looks like he may win a major trophy in his first season at Chelsea. The former Juventus and Italian national team manager has made a spectacular start to life at West London. His successor at the national team level, Giampiero Ventura, appears to have one or two issues with the former Italy boss.
Ventura has used strong words to describe the former national team boss’ time with Italy and Juventus. Conte has managed to go from success to success largely because of his impressive record with Juventus. He managed to get the club from the second division of Italian football into successive champions in the Italian Serie A all in the space of a few years.
After his recent stint with the Italian national team, he has moved to Chelsea in what would be his first major job outside Italy. Unsurprisingly, there are several references made by current manager Giampiero Ventura about the status of the national team.
Ventura believes that the national team has a tough situation since Conte left behind an ageing team.”The European Championship left us with one of the oldest squads in the last 150 years,” said Ventura. Conte may have struggled to replace several of the important players from the national team, but he did extremely well in terms of just results. Ventura argues that Conte had a great opportunity to reduce the age of the national team, but he chose not to in order to preserve his individual records.
Juventus continued their impressive form after a 2-1 win over Chievo.
Fans, though, would have been expecting a much easier end to the game given that the opposition have been struggling big-time for form. The game witnessed nine bookings as both teams battled out each other for a space on the pitch. Ultimately, quality paid off with Juventus coming out on top. Recognising that it was certainly not an easy game for his team, manager Massimiliano Allegri claimed that he was left extremely pleased with the effort from the players.
Former Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic opened the scoring in the second half, but the away team were quickly pegged back by a surprise equaliser fromPellissier. There may not have been anything spectacular about the penalty, but the home team were level from an unlikely source.
Furthermore, they seemed to have the momentum going into the final 20 minutes. A draw would have been a very bad news for Juventus as the club has been facing tough competition from Roma in the last couple of weeks. Normality, though, was restored rather swiftly after Miralem Pjanić managed to score in the 75th minute.
The brilliant freekick fromPjanić was heavily appreciated by the manager after the game. Allegri, though, thought that his team should have won by more goals for their chances.”We could have won by more goals.We played well – especially in the second half – against a Chievo team that were defending well. We moved the ball around nicely, choosing our moments to attack and defending well when we needed to. We had a bit of a difficult start, with Barzagli having to come off. I took a risk by putting Bonucci on but he had a great game, as did the whole side,” said Allegri after the game.
The striker, who is currently plying his trade at Nice says that an explosive return to the Italian national team is all he has in mind.
This was his view in an interview, where he also threw jabs at his former clubs, AC Milan and Liverpool.
The last game Balotelli featured in for Italy was in 2014 in their defeat by Uruguay, the grand final match in the 2014 World Cup games at Brazil.
So far, Balotelli has enjoyed a lightning start with Nice, which has seen him score five goals in six league appearances, thereby pushing them to the top of the table above PSG and Monaco.
Despite this, the 26 year old was not invited to make up Italy’s squad in preparation for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers, first with Spain at home and next, away in Macedonia. The future isn’t looking bleak for him as a return to the Ventura’s led Italian squad isn’t so far away.
“It was right not to select me because I didn’t deserve it,” Balotelli told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s better for Ventura to not select me this time around because when I return, I want to be at my best.”
He joined AC Milan after an end to his three year spell at Manchester City, before heading on to Liverpool on 2014.
After a torrid end to a controversial three-year spell at Manchester City, Balotelli joined AC Milan in January 2013 before moving to Liverpool in 2014. His stay at Anfield wasn’t long before he returned to AC Milan on loan last season. He was unfortunately hit by a groin injury. Continue reading
Inter Milan have been going through a lot of problems off the field. It has certainly not helped new manager Frank de Boer.
The results since the former Ajax manager came to the club have been so bad that his future is already under speculation even before Christmas. Inter Milan were expected to challenge for the top three places, which would have been enough to at least get into the Champions League. The club, though, finds itself in the 11th place after having taken a similar number of points from the opening eight matches. It is one of the worst possible starts to a league campaign.
One of the few bright moments has been the form of striker Mauro Icardi. The 23-year-old has been in sensational form, but he has been a major factor in the off the field issues. There is no doubt that off the field issues have played a role in the club’s poor form. Italy manager Giampiero Ventura thinks that most of the problems have been caused by Mauro Icardi and no other. At just 23, he is clearly one of the best strikers in world football. In his recent autobiography, he criticised a core section of the Inter support and it has not gone well with the fans.