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A football powerhouse kissed by God. That’s how it feels in Italy, the country of four-time world champions and dedicated supporters called tifosi. However, he will not prove how strong he is on the field and in the audience this year at the world championship in Qatar – he did not compete there.
Seventh economy of the country
Not participating in the World Cup in Qatar is a big loss. “From the point of view of the country’s economy, it is the seventh most powerful field,” described the renowned journalist Massimo Franchi, head of the football section of the newspaper Tutto Sport in Turin. “It will be a noticeable hit for the whole of Italy,” he warned.
Fans will not come to Qatar and all kinds of industries will be affected. “Travel agencies, airlines, car rental companies and their dealers, sporting goods stores and manufacturers,” Franchi calculated, how the private and public sectors suffer. The fans of the Italian team follow their favorite in the world tournaments by tens of thousands all over the planet and never looked at the liras (now euros) spent, they never wavered in their passion.
However, providers of various services directly on the Apennine Peninsula will also experience a significant decrease in sales. “Cafes, pubs, wine cellars will almost disappear during the championship,” predicts Luboš Kubík, a former FC Fiorentina midfielder.
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He knows exactly what he is talking about, he caught a similar thing four years ago, when the squadra azzurra did not enter the championship in Russia. “They discuss last night’s match in the morning with a cappuccino and a scone, prepare for the next one with a glass of wine and then watch it with constant consumption,” he knows how Italian fans experience their favorite matches And they need to share their insights with other neighborhood experts. “And suddenly it will be empty,” predicted Kubík.
Restaurateurs and wine bar operators are reporting big losses early. It’s not even worth them opening for some foreigners. “The Italians are only focused on their team,” Kubík emphasizes that foreign tourists will certainly not fill the turnover holes.
When the Italians won the European Championship 2020 last year, defeating the home team England on penalties in the final, everyone was bathed in the Sicilian sun. Coach Roberto Mancini, who replaced Luigi Di Biagio in May 2018 after the humiliating exit from the World Cup in Russia, is almost an ancient god, almost replacing the legendary Roman general Scipio in the national anthem of the Fratelli d’Italia .
The chaos is so great, no one wants to hear the voices of warning. Everyone admired how the Italian team plays offensive football, unlike other EURO participants, the shortcomings are not mentioned. “They only played good football in the main group,” pointed out Czech coach Zdeněk Zeman, who is famous for his offensive approach to Italian clubs (AS Rome, Lazio, Parma, Napoli, Palermo, Pescara, Lecce, Brescia , Foggia).
Italy in the World Cup
1930 – he did not apply, 1934 and 1938 – world champion, 1950 and 1954 – main group, 1958 – did not qualify 1962 and 1966 – main group, 1970 – final, 1974 – main group, 1978 – fourth place, 1982 – world champion, 1986 – round of 16,1990 – third place, 1994 – finals, 1998 – quarter finals,2002 – round of 16, 2006 – world champion, 2010 – main group, 2014 – main group, 2018 and 2022 – he is not qualified.
Medal: gold 4x (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), silver 2x (1970, 1994), bronze 1x (1990)
Then, according to him, it only got worse. “It’s already balanced with Austria, as well as Belgium, in the semi-final against Spain they were worse in terms of playing. They didn’t even dominate in the final against England,” he confirmed. “They were not trained properly, their performances are decreasing,” he claimed. “You have to look at how they achieved success. I say they are lucky. And they are not as high as they are judged,” added another Czech expert on Italian football, Tomáš Skuhravý, a shooting legend of FC Janov.
The qualification did not go well for the Italians. The fact that they were pushed out of direct promotion by the Swiss in the main European group C (they drew them twice) was seen as a national injury. But the fans believe that in the play-off the players in the azure blue jersey will chase and fix everything.
They were supposed to go to Portugal in the play-offs, but the murderous duel did not take place, they had already lost a round before that at home to North Macedonia. The name of Macedonian striker Alaksandar Trakovski, who scored a set-piece in Palermo, will forever haunt the annals. “What kind of club is this if it doesn’t reach the World Cup for the second time in a row! And he won’t fall to strong Portugal, but at home with Macedonia, that speaks for itself,” Skuhravý, who lives in the region of Liguria, does not forgive his current countrymen. “It proves that some players are mentally unstable. Success will come and then fall,” he said bluntly.
Italian football is going through difficult times.
The former champion and the European champion are missing
Not participating in the Qatar championship is still a shame. Especially when the other crowned picks won’t go away. The title of world football ruler is only intended for a narrow group of the chosen ones, only eight countries have sat on the throne in history.
Three from South America (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay), five from Europe (Germany, France, Spain, England and Italy). They celebrated four triumphs like Germany, only Brazil is better with five trophies. However, he will definitely not add another squadra azzurra.
Also, the absence of a European monarch was considered pagan. Until now, the European champion has been missing from the world tournament only in 1978 in Argentina (Czechoslovakia), 1994 in the USA (Denmark) and 2006 in Germany (Greece). And the Italians, after their previous success in Europe in 1968, did very well in their next appearance at the world, reaching the final in Mexico 1970, where they lost to the great Brazil.
At the same time, Italy is a regular participant, there is no doubt about its membership in the elite. In the last century, it failed to qualify for the best only once, in the match for the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, when it was defeated in the field by both opponents Portugal and Northern Ireland (promoted). When he didn’t make it to the previous championship in 2018 in Russia, it felt like a one-off failure. However, another setback suggests it may be different.
Drunk last year, how much this year. Italian calcio is shrouded in a veil of shame, which, in addition to the loss of sporting prestige, has unfortunate economic consequences.