Italy’s Daniele De Rossi blasts coach Gianpiero Ventura in foul-mouthed rant over tactics
Italy’s Daniele De Rossi blasts coach Gianpiero Ventura in foul-mouthed rant over tactics Sweden midfielder Jakob Johanssons deflected goal in the first leg was the difference after a defensive masterclass at the San Siro shut the door on Italy’s dreams of qualification. The result meant the four-time champions will miss the World Cup finals for the first time since 1958 after a disappointing qualifying campaign which left them needing to advance through the playoffs. Coach Gianpiero Ventura, who was handed a new deal until 2020 by the Italian FA in August, will now face serious questions about his future in the job. The 69-year-old made a series of bizarre tactical decisions that appeared to frustrate some of the Azzurri players. Near the end of the game, with Italy still needing a goal to force extra-time, the veteran manager appeared to summon defensive midfielder Daniele De Rossi to warm up. But the Roma captain refused, instead furiously gesturing towards prolific Napoli striker Lorenzo Insigne. I just said we were near the end and had to win, so send the strikers to warm up,” said De Rossi after the game. I pointed to Insigne too. I just thought perhaps it was better that Insigne come on instead. Revered goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, a mainstay of the national side for two decades, announced his retirement in the aftermath of the game. The 39-year-old, who won 175 caps for his country, apologised to supporters for Italy’s failure to reach the World Cup. Blame is shared equally between everyone. There cant be scapegoats,” he said. Juventus team-mate Andrea Barzagli and Roma midfielder de Rossi also announced their retirement, while Giorgio Chiellini is expected to join them.