Sky Sport Italia claim Giampiero Ventura stormed out on the Italy squad ahead of the Sweden game, telling them to “pick your own team.”
The Coach refused to resign after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, losing the play-off to Sweden 1-0 on aggregate.
He was sacked this week, but the details of what went on behind the scenes are still emerging.
It is well known that the ‘senators’ in the squad such as Gigi Buffon, Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi, held a meeting in the locker room without the Coach or staff present after the 1-1 draw with Macedonia.
While everyone insisted it was purely a motivational get-together and had nothing to do with discussing tactics, Sky Sport Italia claim Ventura didn’t believe that version of events either.
He was seemingly obsessed with the idea the players were turning against him and the matter arose again a few weeks later.
It’s also reported that Ventura was so furious at the line-up leaking out that the day of Sweden v Italy match, he demanded to know who the “mole” was from his staff.
The chaos erupted completely two days before the decisive second leg game at San Siro.
According to Sky Sport Italia, Ventura was furious with the squad’s senior players and slammed: “You did so well having that meeting between players, well now you can train them and pick your own team.”
The Coach then stormed out and was gone for several hours, leaving the players unsure whether he would return at all, refusing to answer his phone.