No Italy In Russia
For the first time since 1958 we will not have an Italian team at the World Cup, and with the exit also came the news of the retirement of some of the games greatest players. A tearful Gianluigi Buffon, 39, said “ It’s a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup. This shame also distributed to Buffon’s Juventus team-mate Andrea Barzagli and Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi who also hung up their boots with a third Juventus man Giorgio Chiellini expected to join them iminently.
A combined 461 caps and numerous trophies including a World Cup between them this is surely an end of an era for Italian football but where can Italy go from here? Italy's leading sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sportsaid the result brought the arrival of the "apocalypse".
The article said: "We will not be with you and you will not be with us. A love so great must be reserved for other things. Italy will not participate at the World Cup.
"It is time to start thinking about what else we can do in June: concerts, cinema, village festivals. Anything but watching Sweden play at the World Cup - that would be too painful."
It is certainly a rebuilding job and the European championships in 2020 must be the aim. With Carlo Ancelotti currently not up to much it might be a great opportunity to start afresh, after all what is International competition without the Azzurri.