Italy is in turmoil after failing to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958 and now the blame game has started. The Italian football federation president Carlo Tavecchio has revealed that he has not slept since their elimination at the hands of Sweden and he blamed the debacle squarely on the shoulders of head coach Gian Piero Ventura.
Of course Ventura was the first victim of their exit when was sacked from the job two days after the game. Tavecchio was expected to follow suit but he has remained resolute and is staying in the role as things stand and he didn’t hold back when talking about that fateful night.
The dust has barely settled on the Italian national team’s disastrous World Cup campaign and the obituaries are still being written. But there is no doubt that Gian Piero Ventura’s spell in charge of the Azzurri will be long remembered as one of the darkest moments in Italian football history.
Not since 1958 had the Azzurri failed to qualify for the sport’s elite competition and, to put things in context, that team was still recovering from the 1949 Superga air disaster involving Torino FC (who had just won four-straight league titles) that robbed them of 10 first-team players. Such was the impact at the time that, as well as missing out in 1958, they also failed to advance beyond the first round of the 1950, 1954, and 1962 World Cup Finals and did not take part in the first edition of the European Championships in 1960. However, there were no such mitigating circumstances for the 2017 debacle. Continue reading
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
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.
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
Mario Balotelli is not in England anymore, but, Jamie Carragher still can’t help taking a swipe at the Italian.
Carragher recently made fun of Balotelli’s move to the French Premier Division by a post on internet in which he conveyed his good wishes to the striker for the Golden ball award in future.
It fumed Balotelli like anything and he smashed back at Carragher terming him the best hater he had ever had.
Balotelli’s new employer Nice jumped in between the battle to have its say too on that website telling Carragher that he seemed to be obsessed with Balotelli and asking him if he was interested in buying a shirt of the player.
Carragher, thereafter, didn’t reply to any of those two posts he was tagged in.
Carragher has been vocal against Balotelli for a while and had absolutely ripped him apart on a show on the British television three months back.
He was quoted saying, “Balotelli’s acts outside the ground always remain in the headlines and everybody thinks that is the main problem with him, but, no, I don’t agree, I am sorry. I am actually not sure if there is enough ability in the guy. Tell me how many good matches has he had?” Continue reading
The Italy coach Antonio Conte said that he cannot wait to manage Chelsea.
Italy was eliminated in the quarter-final by Germany and Antonio Conte stated that he does not have any regret for leaving the job. He believes that he will experience as much emotion at Chelsea as he has with the Italy national team.
He said that he has no regret for leaving Italy and that he had made the announcement quite early. However, he admitted that there was some moment where he wanted to come back to his decision and continue the adventure with Italy but because of certain factors he could not do that.
Antonio Conte said that was proud of the performance of the Italian team at the Euros and that he stated that there is also no regret in the way they were eliminated.
Antonio Conte declared that he likes the passion and pressure associated with club football, and this is why he has accepted Chelsea’s offer. He said that he had a talk with the president of the Italian national team, and he had made it clear that he want to manage Chelsea. Continue reading