Football world reacts to Italian news on Monday
Italy may have won the European Championship last summer, but their World Cup dreams for next year in Qatar are in great jeopardy.
Gli Azzurri was held in check by a scoreless draw against Northern Ireland today. That result, combined with their 1-1 draw against Switzerland last week, kept Italy in second place in their World Cup qualifying group.
Italy must now play a play-off against other big UEFA teams if they are to keep their World Cup dreams alive. But they have bad memories of the last time they made it to the play-off, going without a goal in two games against Sweden and missing the World Cup for the first time since 1958.
Fans don’t need to be reminded, and the football world is tearing Italy apart to be in that position again. Many blame star midfielder Jorginho, who some say is the best player in the world but struggled against Switzerland and Northern Ireland:
Many of the big hitters in international football were able to qualify automatically. The reigning champion of France, the five-time champion of Brazil, the four-time champion of Germany, Spain, England, Croatia, Serbia, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and Qatar have also qualified.
Portugal, Turkey, Scotland, Russia and Poland will join Italy in the UEFA play-offs.
But Italy has never failed to qualify for the World Cup two rounds in a row. A failure in the playoffs will likely roll some heads.
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