Football: Giampiero Ventura, 68, succeeds Conte as new Italy coach

New Italy soccer team head coach, Giampiero Ventura during his official presentation in Italy on July 19.
New Italy soccer team head coach, Giampiero Ventura during his official presentation in Italy on July 19.PHOTO: EPA

MILAN (AFP) - Giampiero Ventura was officially unveiled as Italy's new manager on a two-year contract designed to make sure the Azzurri qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Ventura replaces Antonio Conte, who led Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 before taking over at English Premier League giants Chelsea.

A respected tactician, the 68-year-old Ventura has coached a number of clubs in Italy's top flight and comes to the post following a five-year spell with Torino.

His first game in charge of Italy will be a friendly against beaten Euro 2016 finalists France in Bari on Sept 1.