Italy have ended their search for Antonio Conte’s replacement by appointing Giampiero Ventura as their new head coach.
The 68-year-old tactician will take the Azzurri reins on a two-year basis and his primary objective will be to obtain qualification for the Russia World Cup in 2018.
The Italian Football Association (FIGC) confirmed Ventura’s appointment on Tuesday evening, after president Carlo Tavecchio had informed the board of directors at a board meeting.
Tavecchio said the 68-year-old was chosen for his experience, team management skills and moral values.
“I kept faith with my first idea, which came to fruition a month ago and so I announce that Giampiero Ventura will be the new head coach of the national team after the Euros,” Tavecchio said. “He will have a two-year contract which goes up until the World Cup in Russia.
“The criteria which led me to Ventura is that he is a master of football. He also taught his innovative ways to so many coaches, he launched so many players into the national team, he has a limitless experience in the formation of youth sectors and I think he has always had a healthy concept of belonging.”
Former Juventus boss Conte announced in March that he was stepping down from his position with the national team following Euro 2016, a move which paved the way for him to join Chelsea on a three-year deal.
The 68-year-old left Torino after five years at the end of the season, having previously worked for a host of Italian clubs, starting off with Ligurian side Albenga in 1980.
His first major achievement was with Lecce between 1995 and 1997, when he led the Apulian club from the third tier into Serie A with consecutive promotions.
Ventura will be the fifth coach Italy have hired since winning the World Cup under Marcelo Lippi in 2006. If you go back even further, Ventura is the ninth national team boss since 1997.
Italy kick-off their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a trip to Israel on September 5.