Italy: Daniele De Rossi lost it on the bench during the nation’s latest World Cup final against Sweden
Whether Italy will reach 2022 World Cup, they will have to do it through the European finals.
The champions of the European Championship 2020 capitulated to the top spot in their qualifying group for Switzerland on Monday night, as they could only get together a 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland in their last match.
Italian fans will understandably be worried that their nation will participate in the playoffs, as they will all likely have very bad memories from 2017.
In November of the same year, the Azzurri failed to reach the 2018 World Cup after losing a two-legged knockout against Sweden.
The Scandinavian outfit won the first match at home with 1-0, before they traveled to Italy and got a 0-0 draw to book their place in Russia.
Gian Piero Ventura became the first Italian coach since 1958 to fail to lead the football-loving country to a World Cup.
And some of his decisions during the second stage of the San Siro were really puzzling.
Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, who was and still is one of the best attacking players in the world, was not even called in from the bench.
In the dying heat of the match, Ventura even asked veteran defensive midfielder Daniele De Rossi to warm up while Insigne just sat on the bench ignored.
This led to a rather furious reaction from De Rossi, who was very aware that he was not the player that Italy demanded when he was looking for a goal.
Video: De Rossi shouts Ventura vs Sweden
According to various stores at the time, De Rossi said to the former Italian manager while pointing to Insigne: “Why the hell should I continue? We do not have to go here, we have to win!”
Fair play, Daniele.
After the match, De Rossi explained what had happened during his quarrel with Ventura on the bench.
“We have this tendency to heat up three at a time, then after five minutes we switch and another three go,” the Italian icon told Rai Sport.
“I just said we were close to the end and had to win, so send the attackers to warm up. I also pointed to Insigne.
“It was not up to me if it was a tactical issue. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. Then I just thought it might be better for Insigne to come up instead.”
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Ventura should probably have listened AS Roma legend, but instead of presenting Insigne, he simply watched as his boring Italian team tried and failed to break down a stubborn Sweden defense.
As for De Rossi, he withdrew from international football immediately after the match, before hanging up his shoes for good in 2020 after a brief stint at Boca Juniors.