Gian Piero Ventura failed to pilot the Italian national team to the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and he has paid the price for it.
The Italian Football Federation confirmed on Wednesday that Ventura is out as manager in the wake of a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in the 2018 World Cup qualifying playoff.
“During the course of a meeting called by FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio, an examination was launched following the failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018,” a statement on the FIGC’s website read, per ESPN FC. “As the first point on the day’s agenda, Tavecchio announced that, as of today, Gian Piero Ventura is no longer the coach of the national team.”
Over 17 matches, Ventura posted 10 wins, four draws and three defeats, the most critical the 1-0 loss to Sweden in Solna on Friday night. The other two Italy defeats under Ventura came in a friendly last September to France and a 3-0 loss to Spain.
The job of finding a successor falls on Renzo Ulivieri, the president of the Italian Coaches’ Association. Carlo Ancelotti, the former AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich coach who was recently sacked, makes the most sense.
“That would be the easiest solution, if it were possible,” Ulivieri said. “But we do not necessarily have to pick a big name. I have the utmost respect for Carlo, but right now we cannot be forced into such a decision. We need to think about it hard and explore all the avenues.”