MILAN (Reuters) – Former Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura, in charge last year when they lost to Sweden and missed out on the World Cup, said he would never get over their “momentous” failure and joked that he had avoided shopping at IKEA.
The 70-year-old has kept a low profile since he was sacked in November, shortly after Italy were beaten 1-0 in a two-leg playoff by Sweden and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
“It was a long summer for me,” Ventura told state broadcaster RAI in a radio interview. “It had been many years since I had a full summer, but it gave me the opportunity to reflect and regenerate.”
“Have I got over the disappointment with the Blues (Italy)? It is difficult because what happened was something momentous.”
“After the Sweden-Italy match, I don’t go to IKEA any more,” he added, referring to the iconic Swedish flat-pack furniture company.
Ventura, who has spent much of his career in the lower divisions and coached nearly 20 clubs, still wanted to manage again and received an offer from one Serie A club during the summer but the deal fell through.
“I have found the adrenaline again. I feel an inner necessity, a ferocious desire to show what I can do,” he said.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)