World Cup embarrassment in Palermo
Fall of heart-breaking Italy

By Tobias Nordman

Italy won the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In fact, it’s Assuri’s last knockout round at the Intercontinental Championship – and it remains. His ticket to the World Cup in Qatar was gambled on by the European champions against Northern Macedonia.

Northern Macedonia. Northern Macedonia. Northern Macedonia! The proud nation has once again struck down the heroes of football. This Thursday evening. In the 92nd minute. In Palermo. A shot from 20 meters breaks the heart of Italy. Alexander Trojkovsky, once in Palermo, retained his country in the play-offs for a World Cup ticket to Qatar, scoring a goal that sent Italy into another deep football depression. 256 days after the thrilling European Championship victory in London, the Assyrians hit hard after several months of weakness. This will be the second consecutive World Cup without Italy. A football apocalypse.

Also, like the team of national coach Roberto Mancini, no other team in the world has celebrated its sporting decline. With every attack and every shot in this completely unilateral game, the Italians became more and more distrustful. They rushed towards the guests like crazy, made 32 attempts to shoot towards the target (Northern Macedonia made four attempts), 16 (to zero) corners traveled into the penalty area. Yield: Zero. “Incredibile” (incredible), angered by “Corriere dello Sport”: “The national team is not in the World Cup, Italian football is always at a low level.”

“Incredible”, a word that expresses the feeling of an entire nation. Qatar’s dream (participating in the World Cup in Qatar may be a dream) exploded. Against a dwarf! At least northern Macedonia should feel that way. As for Italy, for this football nation, collectively it can not walk proudly or suffer uncontrollably. “Cassette Dello Sport” lamented: “Farewell World Cup, Farewell EM, Farewell Everything.”

“EM was the best experience of my life, which was a huge disappointment,” Mancini stumbled. “We can not say anything. It’s football. Sometimes incredible things happen and it happens.” Perhaps a little consolation: Germany, an eternal European rival, was once badly captured by northern Macedonia. At the home of his national coaching career, Joachim Lo faced a 2-1 humiliation with the DFB team in Duisburg at the end of March. Difference (I): Failure does not cause game effects. Qualification for Qatar went without alternatives (but only under Lowe’s heir Hansi Flick). Difference (II): Germany played very badly, not Italy.

No goals, no dreams

But the bitter truth of football: no goals, no dreams. How dramatically summed up the efforts of the Italians, who conceded their first defeat (!) In the 60th home match of the World Cup qualifiers. When North Macedonia goalkeeper Stole Dimitrovsky put the ball straight into Dominico Ferrari’s feet 30 minutes later, all the striker had to do was push the ball into the empty goal. Can. “Incredible”. again and again. At least. “We were disappointed, broken, and devastated,” said veteran Giorgio Chillini, who was no doubt bizarre when Drajkovsky hit a historic shot.

Where have these Italians been in the last few months who played so surprisingly, interestingly and sometimes magically at last year’s European Championships? Abandoned by the National Sanctuary Catanacio, he moved away from high and pure martial arts and played spectacular football. Fast, creative, often straightforward and very efficient. Well, Mancini in particular needs to answer this question, whose future as national coach looks certain. Such an uncomfortable outburst usually calls for serious consequences. Mancini did not want to talk about a possible departure shortly after the game was over. “Let’s see – the disappointment is too great to talk about the future. It’s hard to think of things like this. It’s not going to be easy in the next few days.”

Mancini still has a contract until 2026. Gabriel Gravina, president of the association, spoke in support of continuing the collaboration on the night of the humiliation: “I want him to be with us. We’re involved in a project.” As for his own future, he is not clear.

Mancini, the underprivileged hero

Mancini among all the people who were the central figure of the glorious resurrection. After a mega experiment with more than 70 players, he formed a nest of defensive heroes around indestructible heroes Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Cilini. What an inspiring and upbeat mood this group has. Always near the edge of emotion. With anthem, with slide tackle, with tripping, with goal.

In the final against England, the coach’s “universal idea” changed things for the better. The Italians set off on a miraculous path when Mancini’s 163 cm short, fast and unexpected tripler Lorenzo Inzain sent defensive heroes Harry Maguire and John Stones to the center of the rocking attack. You have to come up with such a funnel first. The monsters were dangerous, England scared, strangled and sent to the final play on penalties at Wembley.

The European champion can now claim the highest form of suffering after 256 days. EM hero Jorgenho, who missed a penalty in each of the two tracks against Switzerland in the group stage, thereby helped enter the playoffs and now admits: “It hurts when I think about it. It will reach my rest. Go on with my life. I will take. ” Italy, who played their last knockout match in the World Cup when they beat France in the final in Germany in 2006, are moving to northern Macedonia and Portugal when they are reeling from the emptiness of misery. Outsiders are battling Cristiano Ronaldo & Co for a World Cup ticket on Tuesday. Ready to bring down the next greats of football.

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