Francis Ford Coppola had imagined his “Apocalypse Now” among the helicopters in the orange red sky of the Vietnam War. For Carlo Tavecchio and Gian Piero Ventura the apocalypse has the green colors of the San Siro lawn and yellow of the Swedish t-shirt. The Italian national football team did not qualify for the upcoming World Cups in Russia in 2018: it did not happen from 1958 (organized by Sweden, who is to be seen), the edition in which the participating teams were 16 and not 32 as in France ’98.
When at 14.41 on Monday, November 13, Spanish Spokesperson Antonio Mateu Lahoz whistled three times the end of the playoffs against Sweden, Italy was all plunged into a nightmare that will last at least until 2022, World Championships in Qatar. The tears of Captain Gianluigi Buffon, his last blue race after 175 appearances in twenty years of career, absolute recordman, at the end of the race are the tears and the despair of a whole country. They are different tears: they are not those of Roberto Baggio after the final lost against Brazil in Usa ’94 or those of Aldo Serena after the semifinals against Argentina in Italy ’90. No, these are the new tears of so many generations that will for the first time experience a Spectator World without the pathos of waiting, the anxiety of the game, the emotion of the star, the curiosity of knowing the opposing teams, the climate of 60 million technical commissioners around a pizza and beer, in front of a television. None ItalyBrasile, nothing ItalyGermany, no ItalyFrance, written all attached, with a single breath. There will not be all this, it will be lacking in adults, it will be missing most of the children since, every four years, that Gold Cup accompanies our summers, our lives.
The absence of the four-time champions among the 32 qualifiers in Russia will have not only social repercussions, as evidenced by Buffon hot with impressive lucidity. Between 100 million and 150 million euros, between direct and induced consequences, between resigned sponsorships and loss of the Italian brand, between downward TV rights and FIFA premiums.
Yet, the apocalypse spurred by the top of the national team on the eve of the game was avoidable. The process of kicking off the calcium system after the blue elimination has certainly been a source of truth, between defective facilities and youth sectors that are no longer a champion. But the post was not the victory of the World Cup: qualification failed and, out of every discussion, the current blue team would certainly be enough, with good players and potential champions (Real Estate, Belotti, Florenzi, El Shaarawy, Jorginho , Bernardeschi, the subject of Insignia’s discord) against a Swedish, orphaned Ibrahimovic, where the most talented is Forsberg, a talented midfielder in Leipzig, but largely within the reach of our defense, albeit a bit old. But it did not go this way, complicit a forward race in which the blues failed to approach the race, probably a presumptuous child and a symptom of a widespread mood between technical guidance and dressing. Gian Piero Ventura lost control of the team after the wretched match in Madrid, where Italy was defeated 0-3 by Spain in September. From then on, Turin’s former coach went into confusion, proving he did not have the professional and international car needed to sit on such a prestigious bench. The Ventura man deserves respect for a dignified career in the Italian province, but should have immediately resigned at the end of the match with Sweden: he failed the set goal and, by ct, is the main manager, but not the only one. Instead he remained attached to the armchair for three days before the exoner, probably to pocket the salary he owed until the contract expired. He does not even leave Carlo Tavecchio who, after doubling with the re-election at the FIGC summit, will probably triple: it’s enough to bring a first-name name (Ancelotti is in the pole) to anesthetize a movement that today identifies him as chief executive from send home.
A mockery that crosses Italy from Turin to Palermo where, as is often the case, instrumentalizations have easy life. In the post-elimination debate, he broke the hunt for the alien: stop invasion, is the paste copy of the one who is easy prophet in a sea often fake news. As in this case, it would be enough to put your nose outside the Brennero boundaries to know, for example, that in the English Premier League 67% of players are foreign, in Portugal 57%, in Italy 53%, in Germany 52 %, 49% in France, 42% in Spain. A generalized trend of massive foreign presence in major European championships reflecting a globalized world from which one can not go back. England, Portugal (champion of Europe), Germany (world champion), France and Spain will be in Russia, Italy no.
Yet the so-bored Italian nursery still seems to offer shades of hope, as in Alberigo Evani’s Italy under the 20 th of June of last year, he was ranked third, losing only in the semi-finals against future British champions. The problem seems to arise in the last leap of the football chain: the trampoline to launch at high-level professionalism is not yet in the reach of so many young talents.
How do you start? It’s the question that sneaks across Italy, from the bars to the federation’s rooms. The answer can not be unequivocal in the face of such a dramatic sporting event. In the 1990s, France did not participate in two consecutive World Championships (1990 and 1994) before winning the home in 1998. We will not dispute at this time any edition from host country (see the theme of the above structures) , today we would at least welcome you to attend. But first there is a European in 2020 that today seems far away. How far is Russia in 2018.