World Cup qualifying has presented soccer with one of the most unprecedented cycles in recently memory.
With the U.S. Men’s National Team, Chile, Holland and other recognizable soccer nations already eliminated from reaching next summer’s World Cup, another giant is on the verge of missing the competition.
After falling to Sweden, 1-0, in their first leg meeting on Friday, Italy is hanging on for dear life as it awaits the return leg when the two European nations meet again Tuesday.
This is where Sandro Pochesci stepped in. Pochesci, a manager for Serie B side Ternana, delivered an epic rant following Italy’s defeat to Sweden.
“Italy used to be a team that beat other teams up (physically),” Pochesci said. “Now we’re the ones that get beat up and cry about it. When you bring all these foreigners to Italy, that’s what happens.
“We don’t play rough anymore. We go to Sweden and they’re the ones that beat us up. We’ve all become so entitled. Italian football is finished.
“We’re all spoiled. We’re going to get kicked out of the World Cup, and it’s because we’re scared. We go to Sweden and we’re scared to play. You can’t play being scared.
“If I see my team play scared, I’d just resign right away and we’ll put out a coach who has more courage than I do.
“It means that I’m teaching my team be scared. Honest, who did we lose to? We’re getting kicked out of the World Cup and all of us are losing.
“You journalists lose. Everyone who works in football loses. Italy loses. We need to wake up.”
Italy, four-time World Cup winners, haven’t missed out on qualification for the world’s greatest competition since 1958. Ironically enough, that tournament was held in Sweden.Follow @MattReedFutbol