Marco Verratti is confident Italy will “see many more changes” as time goes on under Giampiero Ventura and he was struggling physically.
The 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory in Israel was his first start since missing Euro 2016 due to injury and Verratti had to play the entire match.
“It was a difficult game, I hadn’t played 90 minutes since February, so it was a big test for me too. I knew we couldn’t hold back and needed the three points, so the desire took me to the limit,” the PSG talent told Rai Sport.
“We struggled from the 60th to the 70th, as Israel scored and we went down to 10 men, so they started pumping balls into the box.
“Fortunately, we’ve got Gigi Buffon who is always ready when called upon and is a guarantee back there.”
The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder was also spotted limping late on, making Italy fear they’d have to play with nine men.
“It was a knock to my ankle, but I just had to run it off. I had a couple of stitches on my hand the other day, but these things happen in football.
“Over the last few days Ventura put his imprint on the team and didn’t have much time to work with us. He gave two or three ideas to change our approach, but as time goes on we’ll see many more changes, as Ventura is a great Coach.
“As I have always said, there’s nothing better than playing for the Nazionale. Ventura tried me out in midfield and tonight in front of the defence. They are different positions, but I can do both and am happy to work anywhere.”