Italy suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat by North Macedonia in the World Cup playoffs on Thursday night, ensuring they won’t be in Qatar later this year
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Italy coach Roberto Mancini has allowed six players to leave the Azzurri’s training camp following their shock World Cup playoff loss to North Macedoniawith half of them now tending to retire from international football.
The reigning European champions are still suffering from Thursday night’s 1-0 defeat in Palermo, and the four-time winners are now out of their second consecutive World Cup by missing out Russia in 2018.
Chelsea Midfielder Jorginho, Lazio striker Ciro Immobile and Napoli Lorenzo Insigne, who will join Toronto FC this summerwere all heavily criticized by Italian media after the defeat and all three have now left the camp ahead of Tuesday’s friendly against Turkey in Konya.
Italian publication Corriere dello Sport claim that all three are now contemplating their future with the national team, with Insigne and Jorginho struggling for form and Immobile not fitting with Mancini’s tactical system.
Three other players, Marco Verratti, Domenico Berardi and Gianluca Mancini, who is not related to Roberto, were also allowed to return to their clubs, although they were merely rested.
Jorginho was hit hard by the loss to North Macedonia, he tearfully admitted right after Thursday’s game he was still thinking about his two missed penalties in the group stage against Switzerland, which ultimately cost Italy dearly.
“It hurts when I think about it because it’s still on my mind and it’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life.” he told RAI Sport.
“Performing there twice and not being able to help your team and your country is something I will carry with me forever and it weighs on me. People say we have to lift our heads and move on, but it’s tough.”
Speaking about the game against North Macedonia itself, he added: “It’s hard to explain what happened. It hurts so bad.
“I’m honestly still in disbelief. I don’t think we lacked creativity as we always dominated games and created so many chances. Unfortunately we couldn’t finish them.”
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“We played good football, we won the European Championship last summer, but unfortunately we made small mistakes in the last few games and we couldn’t recover from them. You made the difference.”
Mancini, meanwhile, has refused to accept the possibility of resigning amid heavy criticism. also from his own mother.
“We’ll see. I think everyone is too disappointed at the moment to talk about the future,” he said after the game. “I have to say I’m more concerned with my boys now than in July.
“This is such a tough moment, my affection for them is immense. It’s too early to tell what will happen next as there is such disappointment, but at the same time this is a squad of great players with a bright future.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/italy-qatar-world-cup-defeat-26567420 Six players sent home from Italy after World Cup disgrace, failure expected