Az­zurri… shame and tears

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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

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