Italy boss Giampiero Ventura vows to build on Antonio Conte's efforts
Giampiero Ventura says he can only hope to improve Italy in small ways.
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 Conte had us playing paid dividends and I begin with the conviction that you can get even better if you want to get great results," Ventura said at a news conference in Coverciano.
"When you already have well-organised football, you can only improve it in its details.
"What Conte did in a short space of time is big so I can now dedicate myself to working on these details, which give hope to being able to do really well."
Some eyebrows were raised when Ventura, who built a strong reputation getting teams promoted from Serie B to Serie A, without actually winning any major trophies in his coaching career, was picked to replace Conte.
He does not feel he has a bad record to look back on, though, and hopes to win over the doubters in the next two years.
"You've got to look at what it means to have won something," he said. "In terms of leagues and cups, it might be true [that I haven't won anything], but it's not easy when you coach the clubs I have coached.
"If, on the other hand, winning means taking young players and developing them into internationals, or taking over clubs who were in difficulty, then I have won.
"I and my staff are really motivated. We all want to be protagonists together with this team."
The 23 players Conte picked for Euro 2016 are the foundations Ventura will build upon, but he has not closed the door on anybody -- including Mario Balotelli.
"Technically he's a great player, but in terms of his character and professionalism, he has left a lot to be desired at times," Ventura said of the striker. "He's now facing a crossroads."