BAD DAY TO BE AN ITALIAN SOCCER FAN
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.” — Gazzetta editor Andrea Monti writing in a front-page editorial. He will go down as one of the worst national team coaches of all time, if not the worst. — The Gazzetta on Italy’s coach, Gian Piero Ventura, pictured above.
If you are on the Italian national soccer team and you have just failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, don’t expect the press to be kind.
Translation: “The End” — Headline in big, block letters in The Gazzetta dello Sport
— Headline in Turin daily La Stampa
A NATIONAL SHAME
— Rome daily Il Messaggero
— Rome sports daily Corriere dello Sport
SWEDISH FOR GOAL?
Someone even thought it might be helpful to give Italy’s players an IKEA-inspired lesson in how to score, since they couldn’t in the two-game qualifying playoff against Sweden.
The cost — in millions of euros (about $900 million) — that exit from the World Cup could cost the country in economic terms.