European champions Italy will not be represented at this year’s World Cup later this year after a devastating upset loss in the semi-finals to North Macedonia in their play-off semi-final. Italian newspapers slammed Roberto Mancini’s team following the “humiliating” defeat
It is expected that the World Cup will be without Italy for the second time in a row after what was described in Italy as an “humiliating” defeat to North Macedonia in the play-offs on Thursday night.
After a determined defence that frightened Italy for long periods of the game in Palermo Italy, the visitors took advantage on the last minute with the help of Aleksandar Trajkovski’s goal to win 1-0.
After latching onto a flick-on, Trajkovski got the ball off the ball before unleashing a spectacular low shot from 25 yards away that was able to thwart the desperate dive of Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The goal was arousing celebration as coaches and players from the North Macedonia bench rushed on to the field, while several Italian player were left without a heads held in the palms of their fingers.
Nine months after winning in Euro 2020, the Azzurri have to think about the shock of losing, which means they’ll be missing a second consecutive World Cup, having also not been present at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The Italian media were not holding back from their criticism of Roberto Mancini’s team less than a year ago they won the European Championship trophy by beating England with penalties at Wembley.
Tuttosportdescribed the issue as an “Blue Nightmare” with Chelsea midfielder Jorginho called”a “snail” for the slow speed of his game, which is reflected in a rating of 4/10.
Corriere dello Sport in the lead in the title “To Hell”, reflecting on the “immense disappointment” of a second consecutive World Cup no-show following Italy’s shocking defeat in Palermo.
The top sports newspaper in Italy, La Gazzetta dello Sport describes the shocking outcome by describing the result as “Out of this World” with Mancini “devastated” and considering his future.
In the wake of one of the most memorable victories in their history, North Macedonia, who at rank 67th in the world was placed 61 places lower than Italy will be looking towards a play-off final against Portugal which won 3-1 against Turkey 3-1.
“This is an epoch-making disaster. The shame is worse than ever,” Il Messaggerowrote on Friday.
Italy has been crowned this World Cup four times, lastly in 2006. But they were eliminated from the tournament in 2010 as well as 2014 This latest loss indicated that the European win in 2021 was just an incident in a long time of decline.
“What can I say, we got too lucky at the Europeans and we paid for it. It is that simple,” said Rome resident Carlo de Marchi.
Similar to the year 2018, Italy are the only previous champions who did not reach the finals. Newspapers considered the loss to be the result of wider issues within the national sport.
seasons in world cup:
The last two seasons in the last two seasons, neither of the Italian teams have made it to the quarterfinals of the prestigious Champions League, a trophy which has not been won by Italy since 2010. numerous domestic clubs burdened by debt and struggling to lure the elite talent once attracted towards Serie A.
“The system, Italian football in its entirety, needs to be put on trial,” La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote in an editorial accusing an “total lack of vision” within the sports managers.
The new head of the top division Serie A league acknowledged that the league needed a revamp.
“This failure must lead everyone to serious reflection and profound change in our system,” said Lorenzo Casini without revealing the specifics of the actions needed.
After the most recent World Cup debacle, Italy blamed the entire responsibility on head coach Gian Piero Ventura and football chief of the federation Carlo Tavecchio, who both quit shortly afterward.
This time , there were no demands for the demotion of the coach Mancini who is a charismatic manager who has received a lot of credit for directing that 2021 European Championship success. But, he is not ruling out the possibility of stepping off.
Affinity player Giorgio Chiellini said he and his teammates were “destroyed and crushed” after being eliminated from winning the World Cup finals again.
“I am proud of a team that has given everything, it is clear that we are destroyed and crushed, a great void will remain within us,” declared Chiellini who was replaced by Gianluca Mancini at the end of 90 minutes.
“There is a great disappointment, even today we played a good game but we couldn’t score. From September to today we have made mistakes and we have paid for them.”
A midfielder Marco Verratti said North Macedonia’s goal in the added time was an “real nightmare”.
“This group had a great chance at the World Cup, we came from the unbeaten record, so it is difficult to accept what happened tonight,” Verratti declared.
“We all know that we have given everything, now surely it is time to ask ourselves some questions.”
Mancini’s Italy team scored 32 shots in the game but fell short and North Macedonia going on to play Portugal in the play-off final in the coming week for the chance to play at the Qatar World Cup which will not include Italy again.
“We have always made and controlled matches, however we’ve not been able finish teams. It’s not to put blame on anyone specifically but it’s the truth.
“I don’t know why we haven’t been able to do this, I am also involved in this, and it hurts me to think about it.”
Mancini”Luck has abandoned us, World Cup
Mancini was hesitant to talk about his next move as Italy manager, despite branding the inability to make it to this season’s World Cup the biggest disappointment of his professional career.
Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina has Gabriele Gravina has backed Mancini to keep his job.
World Cup winner captain Fabio Cannavaro is believed as the top contender to succeed in the event that the former Manchester City boss Mancini resign following the massive incident.
“In July, the Wembley victory was the best thing; this is the biggest disappointment of my career,” Mancini said. Mancini in the words of Italian paper La Repubblica.
“We tried everything to for victory. Some games are just like the ones that are difficult to discuss. Amazing events occur in football.
“The triumph at the European Championship was deserved, but the luck that was a part of us turned out to be a complete bad fortune. I am extremely sorry for the team. As a human I can tell you that I am in love with the children more than I did in July.
“This national team has good players and a great future. Now I feel too disappointed to speak about my future, we will see.”
Italy inquests – but will Mancini continue?
It was not until May 2021 – just prior to the European Championships – that Mancini signed a contract extension of four years which will allow him to remain on the job until. However, Italian Federation chief Gravina stated that Mancini was dedicated to his job and was willing to support him.
“We must accept these verdicts, I am embittered for our fans,” declared Gravina. “The greatest joy of the summer last year remains however, as does the sadness of this sudden loss.
“Mancini What do you think? I would like to see him continue and is committed to a plan and I’m hoping he will efficiently get rid of the rubbish.
“Tonight’s loss makes us realize that in our game there’s something that needs to be done. I’m not talking about various indicators and metrics. We must know more about what we can do, for instance in order to address the issue of our youngsters who don’t play.
“Only 30 per cent of Italian players play in the Primavera [Italian football youth competition]. We have to analyse the problem and move on.”
Based on reports 73-year old the former Italy coach Marcello Lippi may be a part of Cannavaro as team’s technical director in the event that Mancini quit the team.
Lippi has been in two roles as Azzurri boss from 2004 to 2006 and from 2008 until 2010, and was also in charge of the ecstatic 2005 World Cup campaign in Germany in 2006 when Cannavaro was 48. captain.
“I’m just now able to stop partying at the bar!
North Macedonia journalist Filip Mishov:
“I had to stop partying only a few hours ago, because I needed to get to work. I’m responding to thousands of calls at present, so I’m very busy. it was an amazing night with an amazing performance by North Macedonia in Palermo. It’s one that will live as a highlight in the history books, with gold layers.
“It could be our greatest win to date] should it be crucial to getting us to our goal of the World Cup. Don’t forget that we defeated Germany at home in the qualifying matches, while winning against Georgia which brought us into the European Championships was very significant. However, I would rank the victory over Italy in the top spot.
“It is an absolute dream to be able to defeat the current European champions. It’s an incredible accomplishment. Many people have criticized us and even thought that Italy could beat us. We were given a chance and took it. Portugal is another ex- European champion.
“With Cristiano Ronaldo maybe playing for his last World Cup appearance, it will be a difficult night.”