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ESPN FC's Euro 2016 awards

Euro 2016
 By Ben Gladwell

Napoli's De Laurentiis hits out at FIGC after Giampiero Ventura appointment

Newly appointed Italy manager Giampiero Ventura highlighted how the Italian league is harming the product of the national team.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has questioned the Italian FA (FIGC) over its appointment of Giampiero Ventura as head coach.

Ventura was officially presented as the successor to Antonio Conte on Tuesday, but De Laurentiis does not approve.

"I had Ventura here at Napoli with me, but [sporting director Pierpaolo] Marino sent him away again after just three months," De Laurentiis said at a news conference. "I saw Torino play under Ventura many times -- sometimes they were good, other times...

 By Ben Gladwell

Italy boss Giampiero Ventura vows to build on Antonio Conte's efforts

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses how Antonio Conte will be remembered in Italy following his two-year spell in charge of Gli Azzurri.

New Italy coach Giampiero Ventura says he will work on the minor details to take the work of his predecessor Antonio Conte to the next level.

Italy on Tuesday officially presented the former Torino coach, 68, as the man who will lead the Squadra Azzurra towards the 2018 World Cup.

Ventura said he believes he can start work on solid foundations thanks to the efforts of Conte, who led Italy to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 following their group-stage elimination from the last World Cup.

"The football...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli is still a special player, insists Andrea Pirlo

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Shaka Hislop discuss Andrea Pirlo's comments about Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discuss the rumours that Mario Balotelli may be moving to the Chinese Super League.
The ESPN FC crew discuss the rumour that Mario Balotelli could be headed to China.

Former Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo admits he's been frustrated by Mario Balotelli, and revealed he expected the 25-year-old Liverpool forward to be among the best players in the world by now.

Balotelli looks set to leave Liverpool after moving to Anfield from AC Milan in the summer of 2014. The Mercurial forward has already made stops at four different clubs since breaking into the Inter Milan squad during the 2007-08 season, and spent last term on loan back at the San Siro where he again failed...