Italian Press In Dismay After National Team Fails To Qualify For 2018 World Cup
Italy "was in a state of shock, dismay and bitter recrimination" on Tuesday after the national football team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since '58, according to Nick Squires of the London TELEGRAPH. Italy was eliminated from next year’s tournament in Russia after a scoreless draw against Sweden in Milan on Monday "produced a 1-0 aggregate loss." Pulling "no punches, newspapers likened the humiliation to Caporetto, a disastrous battle in the First World War in which Italian forces were routed by the Austro-Hungarian army." One newspaper "declared" in its front-page headline, "We’re out of the World Cup, it’s the Caporetto of football." La Gazzetta dello Sport's headline was "The End," and the front page featured a photograph of Gianluigi Buffon, the team’s captain and goalkeeper, "throwing his hands up in despair at the final whistle." The publication's editor, Andrea Monti, wrote, "It's one of the darkest pages of our sporting history. A brutal slap beyond the incalculable harm for a country that lives and breathes soccer" (TELEGRAPH, 11/14).
AP, 11/14). ESPN.com's Ben Gladwell compiled reactions from various publications. La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Italy are right back at the very beginning. Buffon's tears and the deafening silence of the San Siro seem like a gravestone, on which the verdict is unequivocally inscribed: goodbye Russia, we are not going to the World Cup for the first time since the distant 1958." Tuttosport: "The disgrace is not only down to Ventura. It's the whole football movement." La Repubblica: "It's an apocalypse with a gloomy shade of Azzurro. There is a bitter taste to Buffon's tears; heartbreaking because he will not be at his sixth World Cup, which would have made him a legend as the only player ever to achieve that." Il Tempo: "It was agony. In the game of their lives against a modest Sweden side were weak and without ideas. Everybody is to blame -- Ventura, [FIGC President Carlo] Tavecchio, the players -- it's year zero" (ESPN.com, 11/14).
Oggi sulla #Gazzetta ⚽ FINE Italia senza Mondiale dopo 60 anni ⚽ L'editoriale: Tutti a casa, si riparte così ⚽ Analisi, numeri e approfondimenti del flop azzurro.— LaGazzettadelloSport (@Gazzetta_it) November 14, 2017
In regalo @ETGazzetta ⚽ Simeone-Pochettino, derby dal sapore argentino, sabato Atletico-Real e Arsenal-Tottenham. pic.twitter.com/tJt8Z7MJZP
BITTER PILL: In London, James Politi wrote Italy "has been slowly fading as a football superpower" since the Azzurri’s last triumph in the 2006 World Cup final in Berlin against France. In both of the past two tournaments, the team was eliminated in the first round "amid lacklustre performances and suffering from a dearth of talent." But the realization that Italy "will not feature in Russia in 2018 will not be easy to accept for a country that is already suffering with a struggling economy." Buffon: "I am not sorry for myself but for the whole movement. We failed in something that could have meant something on a social level too." A commentator for state-owned TV channel Rai said, "Italian football is living through a true sporting humiliation. People speak of the apocalypse, a catastrophe: these are strong terms that we can leave aside. But without a doubt this is a dramatic situation from a sporting perspective" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/14).
Andate a lavorare dopo 60 anni l'#Italia del calcio dice addio ai #Mondiali2018 Tutte le figuracce della nostra storia Il ko ci costa cento milioni Ecco la copertina di #primapagina #Buongiorno pic.twitter.com/HBH3BR7NOf— IL TEMPO (@tempoweb) November 14, 2017
PARTY CRASHERS: The ABC reported Sweden's players crashed a live TV broadcast "in the wake of their stunning World Cup qualification." Following the match, "delirious Swedish players stormed a Eurosport broadcast, mobbing the host" and panelists alike. Piling on to the "bemused presenters, the momentum of the player-crush saw the pitch-side studio table crack under the pressure, coming apart as Sweden's players partied on" (ABC, 11/14).