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 By Ben Gladwell

Ventura aims to leave bright Italy legacy despite World Cup worries

Italy coach Giampiero Ventura has said he knows he will be judged on immediate results but also has an obligation to ensure a bright future for the national side.

Italy's hopes of qualifying for next summer's World Cup in Russia were hit by a 3-0 defeat in Spain, meaning they may need to win a playoff in order to get to the tournament.

"I know I'm reliant on results on the field, but I'd like to talk about other things because that is how you get results in sport," Ventura said at a seminar on sports journalism in Rome.

"The project I started 12-13 months ago is something we all will be proud of if we manage to bring it to its conclusion.

"It's a difficult moment for us now. We've lost to Spain and that's disappointing. We need to bridge this gap using our know-how.

"We want to leave a national team which will be competitive in the years to come. We're putting in the effort now to leave something that can be inherited, to leave something which was not there before, because when I arrived here the group of players was getting on a bit.

"But if we are to succeed, we need to have a constant exchange of relationships and knowledge."

Ventura was criticised in the Italian media following the heavy defeat in Madrid, but a narrow 1-0 win over Israel in Italy's subsequent fixture means they are a point away from securing second place with two qualifying games to go.

They host Macedonia in Turin on Oct. 6, when defeat would mean a tense finale in Albania three days later.

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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