Italy national team coach Giampiero Ventura claims that it would be a disastrous to see Italy fail to reach the World Cup 2018.
This is now a distinct possibility with the team second in the group -containing Spain. It was always going to be a tough group with the two former world champions being pitted against each other, but Spain have been able to get their noses in front at the final stages of the qualification campaign. The loss suffered by Italy in the recent match against Spain proved to be the difference. Italy will be hoping that Spain dropped points in the remaining two matches – against Albania and Israel – while they take advantage of those slipups in their matches.
The 2006 world champions take on Macedonia and Albania in back-to-back qualification matches. Even if they only managed to make it to the play-offs, it is far from certain that Italy would reach the finals. Giampiero Ventura took over from Antonio Conte when the former Juventus manager decided to move to the Premier league.
After having inherited an ageing squad, the Italians have been going through a lot of restructuring and the age of the squad has been brought down significantly. However, it has been at the cost of the national team not be able to achieve a lot of success in recent major tournaments.
“I’d say it would be a catastrophe [if Italy failed to reach the World Cup 2018]. I’m not thinking about the play-offs, we need to think about the next two matches and then based on who we meet we’ll weigh things up.De Rossi is out and he will go (back to Roma) – besides him we will have to do without Pellegrini and Verratti too.All three will be missing, but whoever plays will hopefully prove themselves to be an important resource for the national team,” said Giampiero Ventura.