Published On: Mon, Mar 27th, 2017

Ventura hits out at former Italy coach

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura admits he was disappointed by the recent criticism directed his way by former Azzurri boss Arrigo Sacchi.

Goals from Daniele De Rossi and Ciro Immobile helped Italy past Albania on Friday, but the performance hasn’t been met with glowing reviews.

Sacchi made it clear he was left frustrated by the game, but Ventura defended himself and his team, stating he expected there to be more reflection from the ex-AC Milan boss before making such judgements.

“I read what Sacchi said and I was disappointed and curious,” he told reporters on Monday. “I was disappointed because Arrigo was a reference point for Italian football, and I hope he continues to be one.

“I was curious because after reading all the things that should be done and haven’t been accomplished I watched the first two matches from the 1994 World Cup.

“Our first shot against Ireland came in the 70th minute, while all you have to do is watch Italy-Mexico to get an idea on the match.

“Respect is needed, and it must be reciprocal. Football is played and talked about, but maybe a bit more reflection would allow him to remain a focal point.”

Italy will take on the Netherlands in friendly action on Tuesday without Andrea Barzagli after the Juventus defender left the squad on Saturday.

There was some controversy after a photo of the 35-year-old seemingly showed him at a club, but after word broke that Barzagli was only at a restaurant, Ventura made it clear he’s already moved on from the matter.

“Barzagli played against Albania and after the match he told me of his personal problems, with his wife at home, and asked me for three days off,” the tactician revealed.

“Everything that happened after surprised me. I was surprised because when I saw the photo I thought it was at three in the morning and that would have upset me.

“Later everything was explained to me and things ended there.”

Italy currently sit level atop Group G in World Cup qualifying with 13 points from five matches.

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