Giampiero Ventura took great pride in seeing Alessio Cerci make his senior Italy debut against Brazil. “I’m very happy for him.”
Cerci was snapped up from Fiorentina in a co-ownership deal this summer after Torino Coach Ventura personally pushed for his arrival.
In just a few short months his career has been revitalised after a difficult period in Florence.
“I’m very happy for Alessio, as when he arrived in Turin there were a few problems in physical and psychological terms. I think we did good work together, but there is more to be done.
“Making your senior Italy debut against Brazil is a special moment and one that brings a lot of pressure, but he proved he has character, quality and the hunger to fight for his place.
“Will I get him to buy me dinner as thanks? That’s not easy, we’ll see! It is gratifying to see so many players doing well after I launched their careers. At Bari I found Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Ranocchia, but they had to leave when the big offers arrived.”
Cerci’s future remains in doubt, as he is co-owned by Torino and Fiorentina.
“It’s not guaranteed that Cerci will leave,” added Ventura. “We own 50 per cent of his contract and we helped him recover. The situation would only change if a really big club came in with an offer.”