After some weeks of rumors of various major Italian names being linked with the Italy national team job, an official announcement has been made: the FIGC has declared former Torino manager Giampiero Ventura as the successor to Antonio Conte.
Ventura will be officially unveiled in front of press and fans in July, after Euro 2016 has come to an end. That's when Conte will bow out and head for Chelsea, and another "new era" in Italian football will begin, and he'll sign a two-year contract that will take him through the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The FIGC President has already heaped Ventura with praise, though, calling the 68 year old manager a "maestro of football," noting how he's helped guide the development of a number of coaches and managers in Italy at various levels, and generally found success wherever he's gone.
Napoli fans may remember him as the first man in charge of the team in Serie C in 2004 after the club was re-founded by Aurelio De Laurentiis -- a campaign that didn't go particularly well before he was fired the following January. More recently, though, he spent five years in charge of Torino, getting them promoted from Serie B in his first campaign, and turning them into a solid mid-tier Serie A side since then.
Ventura's teams are always a tough opponent to face. He's used various tactics during his long career, always trying to find the best fit for the players at his disposal, but recently he's favored variations of the 3-5-2 and 3-4-3, two shapes that suit the current crop of Italy internationals fairly well. He's also never been afraid to integrate younger players, something that should bode well for a national side desperate for new blood.
Ventura's first match in charge of Italy will be on September 1st in a friendly against France, before starting World Cup qualifying with a group stage match against Israel. We'll find out a lot more about how he handles the international game then.