Italy needs a youth overhaul after missing World Cup
ROME » Out with the old guard and in with the new. Italy’s national soccer team needs a serious injection of youth to recover from its failure to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi — the three holdovers from the squad that won the World Cup in 2006 — announced they were retiring from the national team in the aftermath of a 1-0 aggregate loss to Sweden in a playoff.
Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini was also considering retirement.
“We all need to take a step back to reset the movement,” Chiellini said. “It’s the lowest point in modern times for Italian soccer. We need to take advantage of this moment to redesign a new squad.”
Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura is sure to go, and there are also calls for federation president Carlo Tavecchio to step down. DUBLIN » Christian Eriksen scored a superb hat trick as Denmark qualified for next year’s World Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Ireland.