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Italy To Miss World Cup For First Time Since 1958

Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in almost six decades after losing its playoff to Sweden 1-0 on aggregate.

On Monday, the teams played a goalless draw in the second leg at San Siro.

This will be Sweden’s first World Cup appearance since 2006 while this will be only the second time Italy will miss the World Cup. The first was in 1958.

The last major competitions Italy failed to qualify for were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships.

While many will blame Gian Piero Ventra but the decline in the national team started long before Ventura took over.

After winning the World Cup in 2006 for a fourth time, Italy went out at the group stage of the next two editions of the tournament. It fared somewhat better at the European Championship, reaching the finals in 2012 and going out in the quarterfinals in 2008 and 2016.

Italy would overachieve in France last year, when it surprisingly beat Spain in the round of 16 before losing on penalties to Germany.

With a lack of stars on the Italy team reflects the lack of stars in the Italian league.

Italy are World Cup royalty, a nation with the ultimate pedigree, yet they will be nowhere to be seen when the party starts in June. Russia 2018 will be poorer for Italy’s absence but they will have to take their medicine and suffer alone.

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