Euro 2020 champions Italy failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar after a 1-0 loss to North Macedonia.
Aleksandar Trajkovski scored the only goal of the game in extra time for North Macedonia, who still needs to beat Portugal to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
Italy also failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after losing to Sweden in a two-legged playoff the previous November. Missing two straight World Cups is an unparalleled low point for the four-time champion, especially months after winning Euro 2020.
Giorgio Chiellini, the captain of the Italian team, said that it is difficult for him to talk about, as it will remain ‘a great hole’.
“I hope that the coach will stay because he is essential for this team. Now we have to return to winning, go to the Euros, and in four years’ time return to this blessed World Cup,” Chiellini said.
However, Chiellini remained proud of his teammates despite being ‘destroyed and broken’.
North Macedonia will now face Portugal in the playoff final for a spot at the 2022 World Cup.
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