Azzurri… shame and tears
ITALY, like its neighbour France, was tormented by national soul searching yesterday after the former World Cup champions were humiliated by lowly Slovakia and sent home after the first round.
Italian newspapers showed no mercy to the heroes of 2006, saying the defeat showed the weakness of an entire nation. “Azzurri, the mirror of a country,” wrote Oliviero Beha in Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper, in a comment on one of Italy’s worst performances at the World Cup, which it has won four times.
“All black, the worst ever Italy out,” the influential sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport said on its front page.
Many commentators compared the Azzurri’s poor perfor mance with Italy’s economic woes during the Eurozone crisis.
“A country without memory, without identity, without an idea of the future,” Beha said.
Italy’s two leading newspapers had similar headlines. “Azzurri, defeat and shame,” said Corriere della Sera.
“Azzurri, shame and tears,” said La Repubblica.
A picture of Italy striker Fabio Quagliarella in tears dominated the newspapers.
Coach Marcello Lippi, a national hero when he led the team to their 2006 World Cup triumph, is leaving the job in a prearranged move. – Reuters