In what has been termed as one of the greatest football disasters and sensations this year, Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia. This is the first time in 60 years the Italian national team missed out on the World Cup finals.
Italy was held to a goalless by Sweden, despite incredible pressure and numerous chances from Italy who were 1-0 behind the Sweden, following their surprise defeat by the Sweden in the first leg. The failure to qualify for the World Cup has plugged the football-crazy country into anger and sadness. November 13, 2017, will become an unforgettable day in the history of the Italian Football.
Definitely, the defeat comes with consequences and casualties. Most likely, the national coach Gian Piero Ventura will most certainly be shown the back door. Their goalkeeper, who is considered the best in the world, Gianluigi Buffon will retire. It has been very difficult for Buffon, who was crying uncontrollably. The country itself is equally in a mourning mood. For a country that has consecutively appeared in 14 successive finals and impressively won the World Cup four times, the loss and failure to feature in the tournament in Russia is a hard bitter pill to swallow. The sobbing retiring Gianluigi Buffon could not put the frustration and sadness clearly:
“I’m not sorry for myself but all of the Italian football.”
“We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There’s regret at finishing like that, not because time passes.”
“Blame is shared equally among everyone. There can’t be scapegoats. Win together, lose together.”
“I’m leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself. Hugs to everyone, especially those I’ve shared this wonderful journey with. ” Buffon said rather sadly.
Goalkeeper Buffon, who started his impressive career 20 years ago, made 175 appearances for Italy, including lifting the World Cup in 2006. Unfortunately, he had to end his enviable profession rather sadly.
Unlike in the first leg where the Italian side did little to impress the public or display their football acumen, the second leg was full of impressive chances. But the Azzurri players simply did not convert those chances to a goal. The Swedish side succeeded in thwarting the Italian’s efforts, despite their early pressure on the Swedish team.
With the legendary Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s retirement, many have thought that the Swedish national team would go down with him. But the performance of Janne Andersson’s men against the much rated Italy has made them national heroes.
With the Azzurri sent packing, the football enthusiasts around the world will have to make do with the World Cup in Russia without the giant Italian team.