Tears, retirements and blow ups - the fallout from Italy's World Cup failure

The aftershocks of Italy failing to make the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after losing 1-0 on aggregate to Sweden have been felt far and wide.


Gianluigi Buffon (L), Giam Piero Ventura (C), Ciro Immobile Source: Getty Images


Daniele De Rossi blew up on the bench when asked to warm up, explaining he felt with the game deadlocked at 0-0 and Italy desperately needing a goal head coach Gian Piero Ventura needed to put on extra strikers not midfielders.

Roma stalwart De Rossi was spotted on camera showing his frustration at the decision not to send on Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, despite Italy desperately needing to score with the match goalless against Sweden on Monday.

De Rossi is reported to have said: “Why the f**k would I come on?! We need a win, not a draw!” pointing to striker Insigne.

Speaking after the game he said: "We have this tendency to warm up three at a time, then after five minutes we change and another three go," he told Rai Sport.

"I just said we were near the end and had to win, so send the strikers to warm up. I pointed to Insigne too.

"It wasn't up to me whether it was a tactical issue. I'm sorry if I offended anyone. At the time I just thought perhaps it was better that Insigne come on instead."


Gianluigi Buffon, 39, fought back tears as he confirmed his retirement from international football after Italy's shock failure to qualify.

Buffon made 175 appearances for his country in a 20-year career - lifting the World Cup in 2006.

"It’s just a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup.

"[But] there is certainly a future for Italian football, as we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet.

"I'm leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself."

Daniele De Rossi, 34, scored 21 international goals over his career, and his 117th cap on Tuesday (AEDT) moved him past Andrea Pirlo into fourth place on Italy's all-time appearance list.

"Now the next generation is ready to take flight and we must begin again from them. It was almost an absurd moment to associate with a football match. There was a funereal atmosphere in the locker room, yet nobody died.

"I've been wandering around Coverciano and all over the world with this jersey for over a decade, so to take it off for the last time is a strange feeling."

Andrea Barzagli, 36, Barzagli, 36, reflected on the "biggest disappointment of my life" after he appeared in 73 international games. 

"In football terms, it's the biggest disappointment of my life," he told Rai Sport.

"The Italy side gives you unique sensations. It gives you goosebumps, creates friendships between all the Italy fans. It's a real shame to end like this.

"I don't know what we missed, all I know is we're out of the World Cup, it's a unique disappointment and leaving this group of lads is painful.

"Everyone has their own feelings, but it's really hard to accept right now."

Giorgio Chiellini, 33, made 96 appearances for Italy, and the defender found the net eight times, and he encouraged fans to embrace the next generation of players while seemingly drawing a close to his international career.

"We have many young lads who over the next few years will need this same love and support," he said. "It's a long road ahead and after a fall like this there is much work to be done.

"Over the last three years or so we have asked for this love to never leave the Nazionale. Italy will begin again from Marco Verratti and many other lads born in the 1990s who will be mature for the next Euros, which fortunately we'll have some games at home.

"I am certain that if what we saw tonight can be built on, it will be seen as a Zero Hour. Italy hadn't missed the World Cup in 60 years, so clearly it is a sea change. Football belongs to everyone and we all want to create a new era."


Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura has not yet resigned from his position, but his exit is imminant.

After the scoreless draw in the second leg in Milan, it was a foregone conclusion he will be fired according to a contract stipulation in case of a failed qualification - unless he resigns.

"I'm not resigning because I haven't spoken with the (federation) president," Ventura said.

"We need to evaluate things. We'll see. I'll talk with the federation and confront the problem.

"I feel I have to apologise to Italians for the result."

Ventura is expected to be dumped any moment. 


The Italian media have painted an incredibly bleak picture of Italian football.

"Italy, this is the Apocalypse! We're out of the World Cup!" was the headline on Italy's leading sports website, Gazzetta dello Sport

Tuttosport demanded on their front page "Everybody go home!".

Corriere dello Sport were perhaps the most scathing in their criticism, "Everybody out!" screamed their front page.

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
5 min read
Published 14 November 2017 at 3:02pm
Source: SBS The World Game