Juventus and Italy legend Claudio Gentile had harsh words for interim Italy Manager Luigi Di Biagio, referring to his time with the Under-21 side a ‘Failure’.
Gentile is one of the most respected figures in Italian football as he is regarded as one of the greatest Italian defenders of all time. Gentile won the World Cup with Italy in 1982 and was a key part of the Juventus team that lifted the Champions League for the first time in their history in 1985.
In addition to his success during his playing career, Gentile was the manager of the Italy Under-21 side that won the European Under-21 Championship in 2004.
Speaking with Radio Sportiva Di Biagio made a number of strong statements criticising Di Biagio.
“Di Biagio failed with the Under-21s, and yet he said his squad was the best in the last 20 years.
“I don’t think he deserves to be where is right now, as he doesn’t have the credentials. Anyone who goes from the Under-21 side to the senior Nazionale has to achieve great results and that is not true in his case.
“Di Biagio can do well as an interim Coach, but that’s it”.
Whilst in charge of the Azzurrini, Di Biagio’s Under-21 teams went out of the 2015 European Under-21 Championship in the Group Stages, and then reached the Semi-Final of the 2017 edition where his side was comfortably beaten 3-1 by Spain.
Six-time Scudetto winner Gentile was also highly critical of Di Biagio’s selection of players for the friendlies against Argentina and England.
“If we have to rely on those who failed to earn qualification for the 2018 World Cup, then we’re in trouble. Many of those players don’t deserve to wear the Azzurri jersey.
“Gigi Buffon is a legend, but we ought to rebuild based on young players, otherwise they’ll never gain the right international experience”.