Powerhouse Italy Copes With The ‘Indelible Stain’ Of Missing The World Glass : The Two-Way : NPR

Powerhouse Italy Copes With The ‘Indelible Stain’ Of Missing The World Cup

Enlarge this picture toggle caption Luca Bruno/AP Luca Bruno/AP

This is actually the way World Glass hopes end – not with a bang, but with a whimper.

With their tournament dreams on the line against Sweden on Monday night, the Italian men’s national team – the four-time World Cup champion Italian men’s national team – simply could not get the win they needed. They didn’t even demonstrate the knack for tragedy that might have made for a dramatic defeat, à la the U.S. males.

Instead, Italians watched their opportunity to take up in the 2018 Community Cup wither slowly simply because the scoreboard stayed empty, drifting to a scoreless tie with the Swedes in Milan. With the 0-0 draw, Sweden booked their have ticket to Russia to play in one of the world’s most watched events.

Not since 1958 gets the World Glass lacked an Italian group.

Luckily, though, it seems Italians are taking it in stride: “Italy, this can be a apocalypse,” declared the Italian sports publication La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Il Messeggero declared on its front web page that the pull was a “nationwide shame.” Another paper dug deep because of its metaphor, reaching back again a hundred years to liken the overall game to a disastrous Community War I battle, contacting it “the Caporetto of soccer.”

“In mere a few months’ time we are watching the World Glass for everyone else: For the very first time in 60 years we are on the outside,” the major sports daily Corriere dello Sport explained in an editorial, according to The Guardian. “It really is an intolerable soccer shame, an indelible stain.”

Of all images to emerge from the difficult point in time, perhaps the most enduring will be that of Gianluigi Buffon, a legendary goalkeeper who won the World Cup with the Italian squad in 2006 and who is today retiring from international sports. Buffon wept as he kept the field.

“This was my last video game for Italy,” Buffon told reporters following the video game. “We are sorry.”

Enlarge this picture toggle caption Marco Luzzani/Getty Pictures Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

He isn’t alone. Several of Italy’s most recognizable players are unlikely to be on the field by the time the next cup comes, in 2022.

Following the game, the dedicated Swedish contingent in the stands, fans who were rooting for the Swedes even deep in Italian territory, tried to provide their counterparts a small amount of solace. Huddled in the higher decks, clad in gold, they appeared to belt out a rendition of “Always Look on the Shiny Side of Life”:

And, small ease and comfort it can be, Italians can nevertheless find out their misery has lots of company: The aforementioned U.S., and powerhouses the Netherlands, Chile and Cameroon will all end up being staying residence in 2018, too.

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