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Ventura close to tears on first day of Italy training

New Italy coach Giampiero Ventura was close to tears as he took his first Italy training session on Monday.

The former Torino boss was named as Antonio Conte’s successor in June, taking the reins following Italy’s run to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.

Italy face France in a friendly in Ventura’s first game in charge on Thursday, before kicking off their World Cup qualifying campaign in Israel four days later.

“Today I almost had tears in my eyes when I got back on the field after almost three months,” Ventura told a news conference. “It’s never happened before.”

Ventura will be without Leonardo Bonucci until later in the week as the Juventus defender takes compassionate leave, but he offered an explanation of his squad selection.

“I wanted to call up the whole Euro 2016 squad but there are a few players who haven’t played for a while like Simone Zaza,” he added.

“Marco Verratti only arrived today, he can be used as a box-to-box player or as a playmaker depending on the match.

“You have to use each player in his best position. We don’t have much depth in some positions, we know that. The clubs are trying to get the players to adapt but it takes time.

“If we add some detail to Conte’s principles – organisation, compactness, team spirit – we can get even better.” 

Ventura also revealed plans to pay tribute to victims of last week’s earthquake in central Italy.

Mon 29 Aug, 2016
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