‘After the Sweden-Italy match, I don’t go to IKEA any more!’ Former Azzurri boss Gian Piero Ventura says he’ll never get over World Cup failure

  • Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 this year
  • They were beaten over two legs by Sweden in a qualifying play-off 
  • Former coach Gian Piero Ventura says he’ll never forget ‘momentous’ failure
  • Ventura also joked that he no longer shops at the Swedish chain IKEA  

Reuters

Former Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, in charge last year when they lost to Sweden and missed out on the World Cup, said he would never get over their ‘momentous’ failure and joked that he had avoided shopping at IKEA.

The 70-year-old has kept a low profile since he was sacked in November, shortly after Italy were beaten 1-0 in a two-leg playoff by Sweden and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

‘It was a long summer for me,’ Ventura told state broadcaster RAI in a radio interview. 

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after the Azzurri lost to Sweden in a qualifying play-off for the World Cup in Russia

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after the Azzurri lost to Sweden in a qualifying play-off for the World Cup in Russia

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after the Azzurri lost to Sweden in a qualifying play-off for the World Cup in Russia

Italy players react after they failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958

Italy players react after they failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958

Italy players react after they failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958

‘It had been many years since I had a full summer, but it gave me the opportunity to reflect and regenerate.’

‘Have I got over the disappointment with the Blues (Italy)? It is difficult because what happened was something momentous.’

‘After the Sweden-Italy match, I don’t go to IKEA any more,’ he added, referring to the iconic Swedish flat-pack furniture company.

Ventura joked that he no longer shops at Swedish store IKEA following the defeat last year

Ventura joked that he no longer shops at Swedish store IKEA following the defeat last year

Ventura joked that he no longer shops at Swedish store IKEA following the defeat last year

Sweden players celebrate at the San Siro after they made it through to the World Cup finals

Sweden players celebrate at the San Siro after they made it through to the World Cup finals

Sweden players celebrate at the San Siro after they made it through to the World Cup finals

Ventura, who has spent much of his career in the lower divisions and coached nearly 20 clubs, still wanted to manage again and received an offer from one Serie A club during the summer but the deal fell through.

‘I have found the adrenaline again. I feel an inner necessity, a ferocious desire to show what I can do,’ he said.

 

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