Mamma mia! Italy will miss the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
Italy will miss the World Cup for the first time since 1958, an astounding improvement in an autumn filled with qualifying failures.
The Netherlands, United States, Ghana and now Italy, a four-time champion and a pillar of soccer for nearly a century, all will be absent from the 2018 match.
Amid boos and whistles Monday in Milan, the Italians have been ousted by Sweden, which repelled a second-half deluge for a Zero-Zero draw in the second leg of a two-game playoff to safe a 1-Zero combination victory in the World Cup qualifier.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time, with San Siro stadium begging and pleading for a objective to power an additional 30 minutes, Alessandro Florenzi kissed the ball repeatedly as he ready to take a nook kick. Sweden stood agency. The referee’s whistle sounded.
Yes, Italy — the soccer nation of sophistication and beauty, of revered goalkeepers and a defensive system often known as catenaccio, or “the chain,” of the iconic Serie A league, of Baggio and Maldini, Del Piero and Buffon, of these attractive blue jerseys — will not journey to Russia subsequent summer time for the 32-team match.
“I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football,” mentioned goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, 39, who was looking for to play in a sixth World Cup. “There is certainly a future for Italian football, as we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet.”
Only Brazil (20) and Germany (18) have appeared in as many World Cups as Italy (18). The final time the Italians failed, a Brazilian teenager named Pele was getting ready for his first World Cup and Brazil, the best success the sport has ever seen, had but to win its first world title.
The 2018 match will as an alternative embody tiny newcomers, Iceland and Panama.
Sweden, which certified for the first time since 2006, turned the 29th crew to punch a ticket to Russia. The final three slots will be determined this week: Ireland or Denmark on Tuesday, Australia or Honduras on Wednesday, and Peru or New Zealand on Wednesday.
Since successful the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, Italy has faltered on the world stage. In each 2010 and 2014, the Azzurri failed to flee the match’s group stage. Seven years in the past in South Africa, they managed simply two factors in a weak quartet and completed behind New Zealand. Four years later in Brazil, the favored Italians and English gave option to Costa Rica and Uruguay.
The 2018 qualifying marketing campaign went about as anticipated with Italy ending second behind Spain in Europe’s Group G. A house draw with the Spaniards and Three-Zero defeat in Madrid all however relegated Italy to the playoffs.
The Italians have been favored to get previous Sweden, however a 1-Zero away defeat Friday put them underneath immense strain in the return leg. Questionable officiating price alternatives for each groups to crack the impasse and, as the match wore on, Sweden slipped deeper and deeper right into a defensive bunker and wasted treasured seconds at each alternative.
Within an hour of the match ending, Coach Gian Piero Ventura resigned.
Italy isn’t solely notable crew to miss this World Cup.
The Netherlands, who misplaced to Spain in the 2010 last and completed third in 2014, didn’t even advance to the European qualifying playoffs after yielding to France and Sweden in Group A.
Chile, the Copa America champion in 2015 and ’16, completed sixth in a continental race that issued 4 automated berths and one cross to a playoff. The United States misplaced at lowly Trinidad and Tobago on the final day of CONCACAF qualifying to complete fifth amongst six groups and fail to qualify for the first time since 1986.
Ghana had change into an African energy, reaching the spherical of 16 in 2006 and quarterfinals in 2010, however regardless of favored standing in a light four-team group, the Black Stars have been third behind Egypt and Uganda. (The Egyptians superior for the first time since 1990.)
Back in September, Carlo Tavecchio, president of the Italian soccer affiliation, mentioned that “not qualifying would be an apocalypse.”
These aren’t finish occasions for Italian soccer — or calcio, as they name it there — however for days, weeks and months on finish, it’s going to really feel prefer it.
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