On Thursday, March 24th, 2022 Italy has been knocked out of the 2022 World Cup hosted in Qatar following their disappointing 1 to 0 loss to North Macedonia. This is devastating news for Italian football and their fans of the usually dominant football national team that has been dominant in the past.
Italy has now been denied the right to qualify for the last 2 possible World Cup tournaments. It would be one thing if they were eliminated early on in the World Cup, but for Italy to not even qualify for the biggest international football tournament is a disgrace to the sport and the nation.
The Italians were just recently crowned the champions of the European Championship only 8 – months ago, can basically only blame themselves for missing out on this year’s rapidly approaching 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Italy tragically failed to convert on literally dozens of scoring opportunities during the 1 – 0 semifinal playoff loss to North Macedonia on Thursday, March 24th, 2022 with Aleksandar Trajkovski scoring during injury time in order to secure a surprising win for North Macedonia that is presently ranked as the 67th – best in the world at the moment.
Italy’s loss in Palermo definitely shocked so many that follow European football as it was also somewhat foreseeable for a national team that has been in a downward spiral lately especially since they defeated England on penalty – kicks in order to win the 2020 – 2021 European Championship title last July of 2021.
This Italian national team that was record setting for winning last season has won just 2 of their 8 – games since they lost their 1st – contest in over 3 – years to Spain in the Nations League.
Missed scoring chances absolutely cost them greatly over the course of those matches, especially versus Bulgaria, in which the Italians had 27 – shot attempts in relation to their opponent’s 4 as well as a possession percentage of 71 % but ultimately, they ended up drawing against Bulgaria with a final tally of 1 to 1.
Blown scoring opportunities was apparently an identical issue for Italy during the playoffs match versus North Macedonia this past Thursday. Against North Macedonia the Italians had an astonishing 32 – shots on goal whereas the visiting side had just 4, and fortunately for North Macedonia one of those shot attempts they recorded found the back of the net which allowed them to advance to their upcoming playoff final versus Portugal on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022.
Italy’s lack of goal scoring has so involved very concerned as the head coach of the Italian national team Roberto Mancini that he had felt the need to call up Mario Balotelli for a 3 – day training camp the past January of 2022, which was just 3 – years after his last professional football appearance for the normally dominant super power of the Azzurri. Mancini eventually decided to leave out the somewhat controversial forward for their latest World Cup playoff though.
“Our triumph at the Euros was fully deserved. But then some of the fortune we had in the tournament transformed into total and complete bad luck,” Italy’s head coach of their national team, Roberto Mancini, stated. “It almost feels like conceding a last – minute goal was fitting. I don’t know what to say. Maybe we shouldn’t even have got to this point.”
“Honestly, it’s difficult because we have to look at the reality, and I put myself in there, too,” says Jorginho following Italy’s game last Thursday, March 24th, 2022. “It hurts when I think about the two penalties, because I do still think about them and I’ll think about them for the rest of my life, unfortunately. Stepping up there twice and not being able to help your team and your country is something that I will carry with me forever, and it weighs on me so much. People say now we need to move on, but it still hurts.”
“It’s clear that there is always great resistance from the clubs towards the national team,” the Italian federation president Gabriele Gravina explained. “The national team is seen more as an annoyance than something that unites an entire country. The loss this evening makes us understand that something needs to be done in Italian soccer. For example, let’s start by figuring out what we can do for the many youngsters who don’t get opportunities across our leagues and how we can fill this gap.”
Matar, Daniella. “Disaster again as Italy fails to qualify for World Cup”. The Associated Press. March 25, 2022.