Ventura: “We’ve achieved the set objective.” Insigne: “This is the right spirit”

Ventura: “We’ve achieved the set objective.” Insigne: “This is the

23 points from seven wins, two draws and just the one defeat away to Spain in Madrid was the final tally for Gian Piero Ventura’s Italy after the end of the qualification group. The statistics are ultimately positive as Italy qualified for the playoffs as a top seed. It was vital to get something in a hard-fought and balanced match against Albania following the misstep earlier against FYR Macedonia. Italy showed that they knew how to show character at key moments to get through difficulty. “We achieved the objectives that were set for us,” said Ventura. “I’m happy for the guys because they’ve always given a lot. It’s important for all of us to make the World Cup. This is an important group of players, we have some limits at the moment but there was a desire to try things. I was confident when the situation was dramatic and I’m even more so now.”

Antonio Candreva’s seventh Italy goal and first this season made the difference. “After the FYR Macedonia match, we were looking to come back, we spoke about it and stuck together as we also have the playoffs coming up,” said the Inter winger. “We gave a positive effort, winning is never simple. It’s important for all of us to go to the World Cup, it will take sacrifice, humility and the Italian spirit which sets distinguishes us.”

If Candreva was rested on Friday in Turin, Gagliardini played his second match in four days. “It was a positive evening, we secured an important win and it wasn’t easy. They were three very well-deserved points. It was a hard-fought match, we only gave up a few shots from outside the area. There are always things to improve and we’ll certainly do that with the Coach.”

Lorenzo Insigne was also looking confidently to the future. “We spoke, we’re all smart guys and we have an important response on the pitch today, this win came from sacrifice. Today, we had better awareness of what we can do.” The Napoli creative player looked to score and his pace led to some of the match’s best chances. “We played a great game, we were all united in search of the win. This is the spirit with which we need to approach every match, to fight for every ball. We have to give everything up until the end.”

After playing an important role at the last European Championship in France, Eder dreams to also play at the next World Cup. “The team showed desire and character, we played a good game at a difficult place to visit. We have to go again from this point while we wait for the playoffs.”

FIGC Store