Marco Verratti insists “I don’t want to talk about” Giampiero Ventura, but says the World Cup failure wasn’t “entirely his responsibility”.
Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup exactly 12 months ago today, drawing 0-0 with Sweden at San Siro after losing the first leg 1-0.
Ventura spent most of the intervening period out of football, but he briefly returned with Chievo, only to resign after four games.
“It was a bad day in my life,” Verratti said of the Sweden defeat, speaking at a Press conference from Coverciano.
“It was a chance we let go by, it remains in my memory. As for Ventura… I don’t really know what happened [at Chievo], it’s his choice. I don’t want to talk about it.
“I don’t think it [the World Cup] was entirely his fault, it was hard for everyone. These things can happen, especially as Spain proved to be superior to us.
“As I said, I don’t want to talk about other people, I have my thoughts but I won’t share them.
“I have no great memories at San Siro, it's been a complicated year for us, for the national team.
“I think we’ve healed, but we can’t stand still. We have a new CT [Roberto Mancini], new players, and now we need to bring people back to the stadium.”
Italy can still qualify for the Nations League finals next summer, but they need to beat Portugal on Saturday.
“We believe. It’s a great challenge, and a difficult one, but if we win against Portugal there’s still a chance.
“We’ve seen some interesting things in the middle of the park, but we still have a lot of improving to do.
“Against Poland we had a lot of chances and didn’t manage to break them down, then at some points we even risked losing.
“The boss knows football, and that’s very important. We feel his trust, and that makes us happy.”