MILAN (Reuters) – Gian Piero Ventura, the coach in charge of Italy when they astonishingly failed to qualify for the World Cup last year, has been appointed by Serie A’s bottom side Chievo.
The team nicknamed the Flying Donkeys said in a statement on Wednesday that they have given the 70-year-old his first coaching job since the World Cup qualifying playoff defeat to Sweden last November which stunned Italian football.
He will replace Lorenzo D’Anna who was fired on Tuesday. Chievo are winless after eight games and bottom of the table with minus one point, having had three deducted for accounting irregularities.
Ventura has previously coached 17 clubs in his long career, often in the lower divisions.
Apart from one season at Napoli, who were in Serie C at the time, he has never worked at any of the biggest clubs such as Inter Milan, AC Milan, AS Roma or Juventus.
The clubs he has coached include Sampdoria, Lecce, Cagliari, Venezia, Pisa, Bari, Verona, Messina, Udinese and Spezia. He has never won Serie A or the Italian Cup, although he led Lecce to the third tier Serie C title in 1996.
However, he gained widespread respect following a five-year spell with Torino when he led them out of Serie B and to several respectable finishes in the middle and upper half of Serie A.
Italy’s absence from this year’s World Cup in Russia was the first time they have missed the tournament for 60 years.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)