For the first time since 1958, the FIFA World Cup will not feature Italy, a nation that has won the tournament four times. Sweden held Italy to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the European qualifiers on Monday at the San Siro. Sweden won the first leg at home 1-0, which proved to be enough to secure a ticket to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Italy’s streak of 14 consecutive World Cup appearances is snapped in the process and adds to a stunning list of big nations that failed to qualify: Netherlands, United States, Chile, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.
As written in New York Times, many tragedies have befallen Italy in the last 60 years. Dozens of governments have collapsed. Earthquakes and terrorism have shaken cities. The French started adding cream to carbonara.
But the failure of the national soccer team on Monday night to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 seems to be taking a place in the pantheon of Italian disasters.