Italy reaches the Final Four in Nations League

Et was half-time, Hungary were 1-0 down against Italy on Monday night. Since the situation was by no means hopeless, the organizers in Budapest’s Puskás Arena allowed themselves a little meanness on the occasion of the last game of the group stage in the Nations League come to mind. The stadium’s video screen showed moving images of a player in azure shooting a penalty.

The situation in Italy has the potential for collective trauma. Because the Brazilian-born Italian would have Jorginho failed to kick the ball over the goal in the game against Switzerland at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico last November, Italy would probably be at the World Cup in winter. So recording that scene as the host wasn’t an act of kindness.

“That’s no consolation”

You have to get the team from Roberto Mancini however, do not explicitly remember their self-made dramas. The nation had to grapple with the fact that the four-time world champion and reigning European champion missed a World Cup for the second time in a row. Even the somewhat surprising entry into the Final Four of the Nations League, which Italy achieved with a deserved 2-0 win against Hungary, cannot hide this fact.

You only had to read the titles of the newspapers in Italy on Tuesday to understand how deep the sting is. “How sad!” was the headline in Corriere dello Sport, writing: “The pain of missing out on qualifying for the World Cup is greater.” “Italy, bitter joy,” read the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport, and below it: “We are in the Final Four, but that’s no consolation.”

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