Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Italy’s 1-0 loss to Sweden left them staring down the barrel of a World Cup exit at the play-off stages.
A win or bust return leg in Milan requires something extra, so what better time for Gian Piero Ventura to turn to Europe’s most underrated midfielder?
Reports in Italy claim Ventura will hand Napoli midfielder Jorginho a first competitive start.
The 25-year-old has played twice for Italy, against Spain and Germany, but both of those appearances came in friendlies.
Ventura’s decision could have massive implications for Jorginho’s future, aside from the result on the night.
Jorginho was born in Imbituba, Brazil, and moved to Italy when he was young.
His performances for Napoli, coupled with his lack of competitive appearances for Italy, led to reports that Brazil boss Tite was keen to get Jorginho involved with the Selecao.
Quotes from the midfielder’s agent confirmed that Jorginho would accept a Brazil call-up, adding to the speculation surrounding his international future.
But by capping Jorginho in a World Cup play-off Italy will secure the midfielder’s services for the rest of his international career.
So now we could be set for a delicious long-term partnership between Jorginho and Marco Verratti.
What’s the Italian for tiki-taka?