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 By Ben Gladwell

Italy should have picked Sebastian Giovinco for qualifiers - agent

Relive ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti's passionate response after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco's agent has hit out at Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura for ignoring his client and said his use of a restricted group of players was part of the reason for Italy's World Cup failure.

Giovinco was not called up by Ventura despite outstanding form in Major League Soccer.

But agent Andrea D'Amico told TMW Radio: "Giovinco never even received a call.

"For him not to be called up is one thing, and that can happen, but for him [Ventura] not even to send somebody to watch him is incredible.

"Ventura just called up the players he already knew. At times, it seemed like it was a reserve national team.

"In a knockout game, you cannot pick players who are not playing regularly for their clubs. It's pointless finding excuses after."

D'Amico said he felt Ventura had not been the right choice for Italy coach, adding: "Just look at his profile and you don't see wins and titles.

"When you are putting the national team in the hands of a coach, you know that you are giving him not just a football team but an entity that goes beyond pure sporting interests.

Sebastian Giovinco has been in fine form for Toronto FC.

"Football is the fourth or fifth industry on a national level. Faced with an epic failure of such proportions, the whole governance of football becomes responsible."

He said the Italy team needed to be "placed in the best possible conditions to perform to the best of its ability, ensuring that the individual interests of clubs and leagues are not prioritised."

Ventura has been criticised for leaving Lorenzo Insigne on the bench for 90 minutes on Monday, but the Napoli forward told Sky Sport Italia: "I accepted it and that's it.

"There's no regret. In a game that we had to win at all costs, the coach picked players he felt were the right ones, and you have got to accept these decisions."

But the player's club president, Aurelio Di Laurentiis, said: "It gets to the stage where you are damaging clubs by using our jewels in the wrong way.

"I'm not talking only about Napoli, but also about other clubs. Insigne plays in a 4-3-3 -- that is where he performs at his best, not in a 4-2-4.

"What should be a showcase actually becomes a negative window because people watching these games might ask themselves: 'Are these players really worth as much as people say?'

"What can we do? Sue [Italian FA president Carlo] Tavecchio and the federation for damages?

"If I were Tavecchio, the first thing I would do is resign."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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