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Ventura perfect for Italy - Verratti

Marco Verratti believes Giampiero Ventura is the "perfect" man to succeed Antonio Conte as head coach of the Italy national team.

Ventura will take charge of the Azzurri for the first time on Thursday when they host France in a friendly, before their opening World Cup qualifier in Israel on Monday.

The 68-year-old was announced as the successor to Conte, who stepped down to manage Chelsea after leading the team to the last eight of Euro 2016, where they were beaten by Germany on penalties.

And Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Verratti, who missed the tournament with a groin injury, believes Ventura is the right man to take the Azzurri forward.

"Each coach has his style and his method of working. Ventura is a great professional, a great worker, and he has a lot of experience in the world of football. Everybody speaks well of him," Verratti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I think he's perfect for the national team, he can easily continue the work that Conte began.

"I'm ready to help the team. I don't like cliches like saying that I'm expected to 'lead Italy by the hand', that doesn't mean anything. We're a team and each of us always has to give his best.

"A player on his own is nothing without his team-mates. Everybody must honour this shirt and try to win with the national team. Winning with Italy is priceless.

"It may not be easy, as these qualifying rounds aren't a given, but we'll give it our all."

To reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Italy must navigate a qualifying group also containing Spain, Albania, Macedonia and Liechtenstein.