Ventura praises the Under-21s: “A strong core has been built for the next ten years”

Ventura praises the Under-21s: “A strong core has been built for the

Among the Under-21 National Team players who started the European Championship with a 2-0 win over Denmark, there was a good number of players with senior experience. Various players who featured yesterday made their senior debuts this year as part of Gian Piero Ventura’ s project to oversee a generational change. The first compliments to Di Biagio came from the senior boss who was at the Krakow Stadium. “This Under-21 team has great potential,” he said to Radio Anch’io Sport. “They deservedly won even if there was a bit of tension in the first half. Too much desire can slow you down. It’s key to win the first match in a tournament like this. I think everything is in place to do well as the group and tournament are within Italy’s reach. Development is needed but the group is united with a great will to be a key player at the competition. What we saw yesterday is just a small glimpse of what this side will show in the future. I gave Di Biagio all of the players he asked for because the objective from the FIGC is to be competitive. There are at least six players who have made their debuts with the senior team, we all want to go far.”

One of the players being monitored was Domenico Berardi who featured on 31st May against San Marino for the senior team. “Let’s say that Berardi improved at the training camp, especially with his composure,” added Ventura. “His quality is unquestionable, he just needs to be more aware of his own ability. He’s proved himself at Sassuolo and they are not the biggest club as they don’t fight for the Scudetto or Champions League qualification. He needs this experience for his character and mentality. Once he makes this step, he will become a player of enormous quality.”

Moving on from the Under-21s, Ventura touched on the senior side who will be back in action for a vital match away to Spain on 2nd September. “There’s an obligation to go to the World Cup or to try to make it,” Ventura added. “For the first time, Italy aren’t top of the group and for the first time only one qualifies automatically and we have Spain in our group. We’re still level on points and they have just a four-goal advantage in goal difference. We’ll go and play for it in Spain and possibly in any eventual playoff. The most important thing however is the generational change and we have everything in place for the next European Championship to be among the favourites if not the favourite. In the next two to three years, we’ll have more experienced players. We’re building a strong base for the next ten years. We’ve given a sign for the future, we’ve created a sense of belonging.”

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