Bitter World Cup rout for Italy

For the first time since 1958 four-time football world champion Italy has failed to qualify for the Fifa World Cup, which will be held in Russia next year. The club's disastrous performance reflects the state of the country as a whole, commentators write, and call for a fresh start, not just in football.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

A reflection of the political tristezza

For the Süddeutsche Zeitung's Italy correspondent Oliver Meiler the defeat reflects the situation in the country:

“The low spirits after the elimination complement the tristezza that enshrouds the country, and the Italians' disillusioned, self-critical image of themselves. ... Yes, the country's economy is growing once again, but slower and less robustly than everywhere else in Europe. ... That depresses people, chips away at their hope and tears at the very fabric of the country. ... Italy is no longer a team, maybe it never was. ... No one's leading the discussion, no one's motivating people. The politicians are caught up in their own affairs. ... Next spring the country will elect a new parliament. And if I'm not completely mistaken, it will quickly become clear that the Italians no longer know who they want to trust or which coach to choose.”

Basler Zeitung (CH) /

Politics should follow football's example

Following the example of captain Gianluigi Buffon Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi, who were also WorldCup champions in 2006, are leaving the team. If only Italy's politicians would follow suit a new generation of politicians could take over in the country's parliament and parties, the Basler Zeitung sighs:

“There, different rules apply. After the unsuccessful referendum on the constitutional amendment just under a year ago, then prime minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation saying he wanted to retire from politics. For a couple of weeks he posed for photographers while shopping with his family, then he launched into his election campaign for the upcoming parliamentary elections. After his conviction Silvio Berlusconi, also a former prime minister, was considered a political wash-out. Now he may even win next year's elections. Italy continues to just muddle along.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Manager and president must go

Despite Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup manager Gian Piero Ventura has said he won't resign. But he has no choice, former football player and manager Marco Tardelli explains in La Stampa:

“Ventura should admit that he failed. He has lost his mandate to bring the national team to Moscow. Now he must make a dignified departure - because dignity is all he has left to save - without excuses or seeking compromises. Resignation is the only option for him. But he is not the only one who should go. [The President of the Italian Football Federation] Carlo Tavecchio led the federation without style, without passion. Rather than offering a strategic perspective he made one faux pas after another.”