Bad mood at Italy ahead of England game

WWhen this Friday (8:45 p.m. on DAZN) the Italian national team took on England in Milan Nations League meets, then in the town of Trento, 200 kilometers away, the "Festival dello Sport" has already begun. Not a few glances go to this event of the sports newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport", which mainly deals with the glorious past of Italian football.

Gianluigi Buffon, 2006 World Champion, is interviewed. The “ragazzi del 1982”, the Italian World Cup winners from 1982, also have their say. Giorgio Chiellini, the 2021 European champion who has since retired from the national team, can also say something. The Los Angeles FC defender has just confessed to the British newspaper The Times: "We are devastated that we are not at the World Cup for the second time in a row, I never expected that."

So much for the rather sad present of the squadra azzurra, which continues to digest the non-participation in the most important football tournament. Lost in March Roberto Mancini relatively newly crowned European champions in Palermo in the play-off against North Macedonia, the World Cup ticket was gone. Four years earlier, Italy had already missed the World Cup tournament, which is why many eyes are now on Trento and some on Canada, Mexico and the USA, where the next World Cup will be played in four years. Then again with Italy?

Relegated to League B?

“You get older,” says Ciro Immobile"But if I'm in the mood I am now, I can still contribute something in 2026." Participation in the World Cup is one of the goals he has set himself, says the 32-year-old striker from Lazio Rome.

Immobile is something of a straw that national coach Mancini will hold against in the next two Nations League games England and Hungary (Monday) can still hold on. The 5-2 defeat against Germany in June didn't help motivation. Failure to win against England and Hungary could mean relegation to League B for Italy, and tougher opponents in EURO qualifiers.

Not all rosy prospects. Former Dortmund midfielder Ciro Immobile is Mancini's anchor along with goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Although the man from Lazio Rome scores constantly at the club (already five goals this season), he has only scored 15 goals in 54 games for Italy. "It annoys me that I'm not seen as the striker that made Italy European champions, but because of whom Italy missed out on the World Cup twice," says Immobile.

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