Italy, a four-time FIFA World Cup winner, will not be present in Qatar for the 2022 edition, after failing to qualify for the first time since 1958.
The Azzurri’s 2-0 defeat against the Netherlands on Monday saw them finish third in Group J behind the Dutch and leaders Poland.
It was a chastening experience for an Italy side that had been unbeaten in qualifying before Monday night’s game and had only conceded one goal in their nine matches. So, how did it all go wrong for Roberto Mancini’s men? Let’s take a look.
Background Of Italy’s Successive Poor Performances
Italian football is in a sorry state. The once-proud nation that gave the world greats such as Paolo Maldini, Gianluigi Buffon, and Marco Tardelli has been reduced to also-rans. For the first time in 60 years, Italy will not be present at the FIFA World Cup finals. How did it come to this?
The simple answer is that Italy’s national team is not good enough. In qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Italy finished second in its group behind Spain. It then had to play a two-leg playoff against Sweden, which it lost 1-0 on aggregate.
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But the story of how Italy got to this point is much more complicated than just losses on the pitch. There are many factors that have contributed to the decline of Italian football, both at the domestic and international levels.
One issue is the lack of investment in youth development. In recent years, Italian clubs have been spending less and less money on signing young players and developing them into stars of the future. This has led to a situation where there are fewer quality young Italian players coming through the ranks.
Another problem is that Serie A, Italy’s top division, has become increasingly uncompetitive. Juventus have won seven consecutive league titles, and they look set to make it eight in a row this season. This dominance makes it difficult for other teams to attract and keep hold of top players, further weakening Serie A.
Reasons for Italy’s Poor Performance in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
There are a number of reasons why Italy struggled in their FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Firstly, they failed to adequately replace the goals of Mario Balotelli, who was their top scorer in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
Secondly, they had a number of injuries to key players, including captain Gianluigi Buffon and midfielder Claudio Marchisio.
Thirdly, they were drawn into a difficult qualifying group which included Spain and Croatia. Lastly, their form in the build-up to the qualifiers was poor, with them losing 3-0 to France and 2-1 to Belgium.
Why Italy couldn’t qualify for FIFA World Cup 2022?
In the years before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Italy’s national team had been in a slump. And resultantly they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, as well as their performance at Euro 2020 was lackluster. As a result, many fans and pundits were wondering if Italy would be able to rebound and qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Sadly, it was not meant to be. Italy failed to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, meaning that they are missing out on the tournament for the second consecutive time.
So why did Italy fail to qualify? There are a number of factors that contributed to their demise.
Firstly, the Italian league is not as strong as it once was. In recent years, Juventus have been dominant, but they have not been able to translate that success into European glory. As a result, the rest of the teams in Serie A have been struggling to keep up.
Secondly, Italy’s national team is aging. Many of their key players, such as Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, are well past their prime. Additionally, there is a lack of young talent coming through the ranks. This has led to an overall decline in the quality of the Italian national team.
Thirdly, Italy’s style of play has become increasingly negative and uninspiring. In an attempt to protect their aging stars, Coach Roberto Mancini has set up his team in a defensive manner which has made them very difficult to watch.
Did Italy qualify for the 2018 FIFA world cup?
In order to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Italy needed to finish in the top two of their qualifying group. But they ended up finishing third in their group behind Spain and Portugal, meaning they missed out on qualifying for the World Cup.
The Future of Italian Football
The future of Italian football is shrouded in uncertainty following the nation’s failure to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Azzurri have been a mainstay at the global showpiece event since 1930, but their shock elimination from the qualifying rounds has left many questioning what lies ahead for the four-time champions.
There is no doubt that Italian football is in need of a major overhaul after years of underachievement at both club and international levels.
The country’s top clubs have failed to make an impact in Europe, while the national team has failed to live up to expectations in recent years.
It remains to be seen how Italy will bounce back from this setback, but there is no doubt that they have the potential to once again become a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.
Although Italy didn’t qualify for FIFA World Cup 2022, there are several possible explanations for why this may have happened. It’s possible that the Italian team simply wasn’t as good as other teams in the qualifying rounds, or that they didn’t perform well on the day of their matches. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the process of qualifying for the World Cup is extremely competitive, and even a small mistake can mean the difference between qualifying and not qualifying. In any case, we hope that Italy will be able to bounce back and put forth a strong showing in future World Cup competitions.