Gian Piero Ventura
Gian Piero Ventura was born on 14th January 1948 in Genoa and started his playing career with Sampdoria. He has come to manage the Italy national team after managing 835 senior league games (889 senior matches including cups) with 16 different clubs (297 wins, 279 draws, 259 defeats). Between 1985 and 2016, Ventura managed in Serie A for 9 seasons, in Serie B for 10, and in Serie C for 8 (total 27).
He began his coaching career in the Sampdoria youth set-up and then moved on to be the head coach at Interregionale l’Albenga and Rapallo Ruentes before winning promotion to Serie C2 with Chiavari side Entella Bacezza in the 1984/85 season (he made his senior coaching debut the following year). That was followed by spells at Spezia and Centese. He won a further promotion to Serie C2 with Pistoiese (1990/91) and then, after some experience with Giarre in Serie C1, Ventura managed his first game in Serie B with Venezia in 94/95.
The first big achievement of Ventura’s career came with Lecce whom he led to Serie A in 1997 thanks to consecutive promotions. Now a promotion specialist, he brought Cagliari up to the big time the following season and made his management debut in Serie A a year later (13/09/98: Cagliari 2-2 Inter). He then had spells at Sampdoria, Udinese, Napoli, Messina, Verona and Pisa before replacing Antonio Conte at Bari. He had a good first season with the Puglia side and finished tenth in the league.
In June 2011, Ventura took the reins at Torino and quickly achieved the number one priority during his first season which was promotion to Serie A. It was just the first of many achievements with Il Toro. In 2013/14, he guided the team to seventh in the league and therefore qualified for the Europa League. He made his mark in Europe’s second club competition when Torino beat Athletic Bilbao to reach the last 16. On 16th December 2015, Ventura broke Luigi Radice’s record tenure for a Torino coach as he occupied the Turin club’s dugout for the 194th time. He led theGranata for 217 matches overall (152 in Serie A, 42 in Serie B, 14 in the Europa League and 9 in the Coppa Italia).
On 7th June 2016, FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio announced that Ventura was to take over the Italy national team. It marked the summit of a long career which will now take in Italy’s qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.