Monday October 3 2016
Ventura: ‘Verratti must be protected’

Italy CT Giampiero Ventura says Marco Verratti “must be protected” so he won’t face both Spain and Macedonia.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder missed Euro 2016 after hip surgery, and has been eased back into the side, making three Ligue 1 starts so far this season.

“He’ll be monitored,” Ventura explained in a Press conference today.

“After the Israel game he was out and he quickly recovered. In these cases you can pay a little bit, and he must be protected.

“We have to understand if he’s more important against Spain or against Macedonia, where we have to play for a win.”

Youngsters Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessio Romagnoli and Federico Bernardeschi have all been included in the squad, and Ventura confirmed he’s looking to the future.

“I’m happy to see the young people on the pitch. Youngsters with potential are made to play, and the fact the Lega has given me the opportunity to test them at least three times with training camps makes me happy.

“There are plenty of youngsters who are blooming, but for something to bloom you need to water it. That means they must play for their clubs and then the national team.

“That’s our goal, to go down the path which [Antonio] Conte already started on to provide new strength for the World Cup.

“We can say that it’s already a small step toward the future. [Mattia] Perin and Donnarumma are a signal that we're working for the future."

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