Italy suffered a shocking loss against Sweden and gets knocked out of the next year’s World Cup !!
When Carlo Tavecchio, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), announced the appointment of Giampiero Ventura as Antonio Conte’s successor, he promised they would make history together. A little over a year later, they have done just that but for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since 1958, four-time champions Italy will not appear at the World Cup.
Italy’s shock elimination from the 2018 World Cup finals by Sweden on Tuesday morning is a salutary lesson for all in the most competitive sport on the planet: there are no guarantees for anyone.
The Azzurri won the World Cup as recently as 2006. When they knocked Australia out along the way. And made the final of the European Championships in 2012. But their recent efforts – eliminated in the group stage of the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and quarter-finals of the 2016 Euro. Italy is not the same powerhouse as before.
What Went wrong for Italy !?
The three remaining members of Italy’s 2006 World Cup success, Gianluigi Buffon, De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli, all announced their international retirement on Monday.
Giorgio Chiellini wants more time to decide. He believes Italian football needs to take a step back in order to move forward. There is a sense this represents an opportunity to push the reset button.
A tearful Gianluigi Buffon said he was “sorry for all of Italian football” as he led a wave of international retirements after a World Cup play-off defeat by Sweden. “There is certainly a future for Italian football because we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet” he said.
There was a bizarre moment late in the game. The coach asked De Rossi to warm up. De Rossi pointed instead at Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, a player Ventura refused to call upon despite pressure from Italian media and supporters.
“I just said we were near the end and had to win, so send the strikers to warm up!” said De Rossi. “I pointed to Insigne too. “I just thought perhaps it was better that Insigne come on instead.” Ultimately, De Rossi, 34, was not used either. As Italy failed in their search for the goal that would have taken the tie to extra time.
Netherlands and Chile too have failed to make it to the World Cup. The 2018 World Cup has already seen many shock exits. Argentina was also on the verge of elimination. But the heroics of Lionel Messi saw them through to the World Cup.