Italy lost 0-1 to North Macedonia and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the third consecutive season
ITALY’S DISAPPOINTMENT Just as four years ago Italy failed to win the playoffs and qualify for the World Cup. There is great disappointment across the nation. After the fantastic victory in the European Cup, participation in the next World Cup seemed almost obvious. Maybe the great enthusiasm, maybe the feeling of being invincible distracted us from reality, making us forget the many games we would have had to play in the qualifying group. Unfortunately, these did not go very well: many wasted opportunities, few goals scored and above all many games that founded the basis of this defeat. This defeat happened not only because of our mistakes, but mainly because of the lack of organization and the lack of adequate preparation for such an important match.
Already after the match with Northern Ireland, which ended in a draw, which did not allow us to win the group and to qualify directly to the World Cup, the Italian federation asked months before, to the Series A league, the
suspension of the championship for a week in order to prepare better for the match against North Macedonia. This proposal was rejected by all clubs. How good would an extra week have been for us? Could that also be a reason for defeat? The only good thing about the night was cheering. For the first time after two years of pandemic, in Italy the game was played in a stadium at the maximum of its capacity. Palermo offered players a spectacular atmosphere outside and inside the stadium. After all, we cannot find an alibi now, we must raise our heads and entrust our future to younger players.
In four years time many players of the current national team will not be there because they will be too old for football. Coach Mancini will then have to rely on the young people who from now on will have to prove that they deserve the national royal blue jersey. In the last five years there has been an exponential growth in the presence of players from abroad in the two major Italian leagues and in the Italian youth league. Why does this happen? Are there no young players in Italy? The only answer to all these questions is that the Italian system lacks coaches, educators and observers who value and encourage young players. The underlying problem in Italian football is found in amateur leagues that are apparently underestimated. Another huge problem of Italian football is corruption. In these years, therefore, we will try to improve these aspects and enhance our talents, trusting young Italians because our football future and the support of an entire nation is in their hands.