Published 6:01 a.m. ET Nov. 14, 2017 | Updated 10:29 a.m. ET Nov. 14, 2017
ROME (AP) — Out with the outdated guard and in with the brand new.
Italy’s nationwide soccer group wants a severe injection of youth to get better from its failure to qualify for the World Cup for the primary time in six many years.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi — the three holdovers from the squad that received the nation’s fourth World Cup in 2006 — introduced they had been retiring from the nationwide group within the aftermath of a 1-Zero mixture loss to Sweden in a playoff.
Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini was additionally contemplating retirement.
“We all need to take a step back to reset the movement,” Chiellini mentioned. “It’s the lowest point in modern times for Italian soccer. We need to take advantage of this moment to redesign a new squad.”
Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura is bound to go, and there are additionally requires soccer federation president Carlo Tavecchio to step down.
So who’s left for the Azzurri?
The best reply to that query is available in aim, the place 18-year-old AC Milan starter Gianluigi Donnarumma is ready to interchange Buffon.
In protection, Leonardo Bonucci might be the one holdover from the “BBC” trio with Barzagli and Chiellini. Younger defenders on the horizon embody Daniele Rugani, Alessio Romagnoli and Mattia Caldara.
There is hope in midfield, too. Although Marco Verratti nonetheless hasn’t put in a stable efficiency as he makes an attempt to interchange the retired Andrea Pirlo, quite a bit can be anticipated of the Paris Saint-Germain participant within the coming years.
Then there may be Brazilian-born Jorginho, who was given his first aggressive motion for Italy within the second leg towards Sweden and confirmed that he could be a dependable possibility in midfield. Roberto Gagliardini, a bodily 23-year-old midfielder for Inter Milan, also needs to acquire extra enjoying time.
Up entrance, gifted wingers Lorenzo Insigne and Stephan El Shaarawy are approaching their primes and heart forwards Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti are additionally of their early to mid-20s. At 27, the long-excluded Mario Balotelli might nonetheless have loads to contribute if he ever matures sufficient.
Other gamers to be careful for down the road are 20-year-old Fiorentina ahead Federico Chiesa — the son of former Italy striker Enrico Chiesa — and 23-year-old Sbaduolo striker Domenico Berardi. AC Milan’s 23-year-old proper again Andrea Conti and 21-year-old Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini are additionally potential nationwide group gamers.
The greatest query, although, is who will substitute Ventura as coach.
Carlo Ancelotti, who was fired by Bayern Munich in September, is being talked about as a potential alternative.
Ancelotti, who coached Juventus and AC Milan earlier than going overseas to win titles with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern, has the big-club resume that Ventura lacked. But it stays to be seen if Ancelotti can be prepared to teach the nationwide group, or if he nonetheless prefers the each day actions of a membership.
Other choices embody putting in a caretaker and luring again earlier coach Antonio Conte, who has expressed homesickness at Chelsea. Or maybe Juventus coach Mbadimiliano Allegri or Zenit St. Petersburg’s Roberto Mancini as soon as the membership season ends.
Ventura is predicted to resign or be fired. Even although his contract was lately prolonged to 2020, the deal included a stipulation that it might be voided in case of a failed qualification.
Tavecchio’s standing was additionally put into query by Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago, who oversees all sports activities within the nation.
“I spoke with Tavecchio and I asked him what his intentions were and he told me that tomorrow there will be this meeting in the federation,” Malago mentioned Tuesday. “As you know, it’s up to the boss to take responsibility, but if I were him I would resign.”
There is a precedent since each Giancarlo Abete, the earlier federation president, and coach Cesare Prandelli every resigned instantly after Italy was eradicated within the first spherical of the 2014 World Cup.
Italy is not scheduled to play once more till high-profile friendlies towards Argentina and England in March.
The Azzurri’s subsequent official match will not come till subsequent September when the brand new Nations League begins, whereas qualifying for the 2020 European Championship begins in March 2019.
“I don’t know if I’ll stay,” Chiellini mentioned when requested if he would possibly take over as captain. “The next Euros are too far away. But we’ve got to aim for that in three years.”
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