Gian Piero Ventura: “After Isco's nutmeg, all I could do was applaud”
"Right now there is a huge difference between Italy and Spain in terms of physical level and quality; considering those differences, there's no point talking about the resultChelsea - Barcelona U - 19 live: UEFA Youth League final
Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura admitted that his side were totally outclassed in every department in Saturday 3-0 defeat at the Bernabéu.
Do you regret going with that 4-2-4 formation?
"Right now there is a huge difference between Italy and Spain in terms of physical level and quality; so considering those differences, there's not much point talking about the result. We were looking to try something different against a much stronger side than ourselves. In the first half, we only conceded one shot on target and De Gea pulled out a great save to deny Belotti - had that gone in, everything would have changed. Just before the break we came close to putting ourselves back in the game with Insigne's chance but it wasn't to be. Our objective is to qualify for the World Cup and to be one of the surprise teams in the tournament. If one game is going to change everything we have done in the past then there's no point in me answering any questions tonight. If we had won...
What do you make of the criticism you've received on social media for your tactical decisions?
Yesterday, before the game, I was criticized for not fielding Insigne. That shows that there are no balanced viewpoints.
How can you give Italy more quality?
Many of Spain's players won three Champions League finals; we don't have anyone at that level in our squad.
Ventura refuses to point the finger at his players
I don't want to comment on those who are criticizing because they always exaggerate things. Nor am I going to single out any of my players.
Will you be calling up anyone to come in for Chiellini while he's out injured?
Spinazzola's also picked up an injury so yes, I will be bring in a replacement.
What did you think of Isco's performance?
It was very nice to watch in the flesh. All I can think about is that nutmeg he pulled off in midfield - and the coolness and integrity you need to do something like that. When I saw it, all I could do was applaud - he's a rival, he's on the opposing team but I am just as much a lover of the beautiful things in this game as anyone.
Italy's fitness problems
We are only in September and Italy are suffering physically. Why's that?
I don't know. I've only lost one game since I've been the coach - against France and funnily enough that was on 1 September. There was a gulf in difference in terms of our physical level and our rivals then and the same thing has happened tonight although I have to say, that Spain were clearly technically superior as well.
How are you going to lift the team?
If one defeat against Spain drains the self esteem of my players, that means we are not a team. I don't even want to think about it. As I said befiore the game, this is an important stage in our development but that's all, it's just a stage, not the end of the race.