NEWS
Sunday October 8 2017
Buffon: 'Italy must become a Team'

Gigi Buffon explains why Italy players held a private meeting without Giampiero Ventura. “We need to be a Team with a Capital T.”

The final group game kicks off on Monday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) and the Azzurri are already guaranteed a spot in the World Cup play-offs.

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NEWS
Sunday October 8 2017
Ventura: 'Azzurri can't complain'

Giampiero Ventura thanked Italy players for their crisis summit ahead of the Albania match, but insisted he “can’t complain” about his Azzurri tenure.

The final group game kicks off on Monday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) and the Nazionale are already guaranteed a spot in the World Cup play-offs.

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NEWS
Sunday October 8 2017
Buffon defends under-fire Ventura

Italy captain Gigi Buffon has defended under-pressure Azzurri boss Giampiero Ventura.

The former Torino Coach has come in for heavy criticism following Friday’s home draw against Macedonia.

Regardless of what happens in tomorrow’s final World Cup qualifying Group G match with Albania, Italy know they will have to win a two-legged play-off next month if they are to reach next summer’s tournament in Russia.

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BLOG ITALIA
Sunday October 8 2017
Ventura out of his depth

Italy’s World Cup qualifying campaign may not seem too bad on paper, but it has raised major question marks over their Coach, writes Chloe Beresford.

The tally reads six wins, two draws and one defeat. In a World Cup qualifying group that also contains Spain, some might say that Italy haven’t fared too badly, as they have now secured a play-off berth after La Roja expectedly secured an automatic place into the summer 2018 tournament. The Azzurri probably will eventually qualify, even though it will have taken Coach Giampiero Ventura longer than he would’ve hoped.

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NEWS
Saturday October 7 2017
Belotti visits Italy squad

Andrea Belotti is injured, but the Torino striker still visited his Italy teammates in the training camp this evening.

The Nazionale were held to a 1-1 draw by Macedonia last night and visit Albania for the final World Cup qualifying group game on Monday.

Training continued in Turin today and Belotti was spotted at the team hotel, despite the fact he is out for a month with a knee injury.

Italy are currently using Torino’s facilities, training at the Stadio Filadelfia after last night’s game at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

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NEWS
Saturday October 7 2017
Italy secure World Cup play-off spot

Italy are officially in the World Cup 2018 play-offs after Bosnia suffered a 4-3 home defeat to Belgium this evening.

The Azzurri’s position had been in doubt following last night’s deeply disappointing 1-1 draw with Macedonia in Turin.

They would’ve needed at least a point away to Albania on Monday evening in the final group game to be sure of a place otherwise.

Only the top eight runners-up get into the play-offs and there are nine qualifying groups, so one side will be left out.

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NEWS
Saturday October 7 2017
Italy players have crisis meeting

Italy players had a confrontation between themselves, without the Coach or staff present, after last night’s 1-1 draw with Macedonia.

According to Sky Sport Italia, the squad got together before this afternoon’s training session and had a private meeting.

Coach Giampiero Ventura, the staff and directorial figures representing the FIGC were not involved, but had been alerted to the situation and asked to stay away.

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NEWS
Saturday October 7 2017
Cairo stands up for Ventura

Torino President Urbano Cairo defended under-fire Italy Coach Giampiero Ventura. “I am convinced we’ll have our say at the World Cup.”

The Azzurri’s qualification is up in the air, as the 1-1 draw with Macedonia last night makes even a play-off more complicated than expected.

“Ventura is doing a great job and we should be optimistic,” Cairo told Tuttosport.

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NEWS
Saturday October 7 2017
Papers tear Ventura's Italy apart

The Italy squad, and in particular Coach Giampiero Ventura, have been lambasted by the media after a 1-1 draw with Macedonia.

This result means the Azzurri are not guaranteed a place in the World Cup play-offs yet and their FIFA ranking could be further dented, giving them a tougher draw if they do make it.

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NEWS
Saturday October 7 2017
Rugani: 'Azzurri sat back'

Daniele Rugani believes Italy’s biggest mistake against Macedonia was “slowing down after taking the lead” in their 1-1 draw.

The Juventus defender came off the bench for injured Andrea Barzagli at half-time, but could not prevent Aleksandar Trajkovski wiping out a Giorgio Chiellini opener.

“We simply got it wrong by slowing down after taking the lead,” Rugani told Rai Sport.

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