Italy’s 2018 World Cup Prelude, Euro 2016

    Following a short Euro 2016 campaign, Italy prepare for the 2018 World Cup with Giampiero Ventura set to build on Conte's foundation.

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    Leading up to their exit from this summer’s Euro 2016 competition, Italy emphasized their ability as a unit. Regardless of their “lack of individual talent”, Conte’s squad fought their way to the quarterfinals where they lost to Germany 6-5 on penalties after finishing atop Group E and defeating Spain 2-0 in the round of 16.

    A major point to take away from Italy’s short-lived run is the foundation Conte laid out for their future. Although the former Juventus boss has stepped down, fans shouldn’t worry about the usual set-backs international teams experience after losing a manager.

    Giampiero Ventura, Conte’s successor, applies the same 3-5-2 formation we’ve seen all tournament from the Azzurri. Though his temperament differs from Conte’s, they share a similar tactical mindset. What is so significant about Ventura taking over for Conte? Hiring Ventura to build on Conte’s foundation will undoubtedly provide consistency for the Italians to continue to develop as opposed to starting from scratch.

    So, how was the Euro Cup a prelude to the World Cup in 2018? Assuming Ventura retains a fair portion of the less experienced players from this summer’s roster, they have an additional two years to build chemistry with the staple veterans after having already competed in a major tournament. Also, rising Italian starlets such as Domenico Berardi, Davide Zappacosta, Andrea Belotti and many more can offer Italy the “quality talent” critics claim they lack.

    As disappointing as it was to see Italy crash out after startling the soccer world, they’ll be back for theirs come 2018.

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