Why didn’t Italy qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?

The 2022 World Cup will be played without Italy. GOAL traces the failure of the blue in qualifying.

The 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar from November 20 to December 18 with 32 teams. But Italy is not among them, as the Squadra Azzurra failed in qualifying. GOAL returns to the incredible miss of the Italians.

In which qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup were Italy?

The qualifying draw for the 2022 World Cup Europe zone took place on 7 December 2020 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Top seeded Italy were placed in Group C alongside Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

The group winners qualified directly for the final tournament of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar while the runners-up reached the play-offs in the Europe zone with twelve teams for three qualifying places.

The third, fourth and fifth placed teams in the group were eliminated.

Where did Italy end up in the 2022 World Cup qualifying group?

Italy finished second in Group C with 16 points (W4, D4, L0) behind Switzerland (18 points).

Northern Ireland took third place with 9 points ahead of Bulgaria (8 points) and Lithuania (3 points).

Why was Italy overtaken by Switzerland?

Before the last two qualifying days for Group C, Italy were level on points with Switzerland (14 points). The Italians, on the other hand, occupied the top of the group thanks to a better goal difference.

On the penultimate day, Italy receives Switzerland in Rome and the two teams finish in a draw (1-1). Italian Jorginho misses a penalty in the last minute preventing his team from winning the match and moving three points ahead of Nati.

Getty Images

On the final day of qualifying, Italy traveled to Northern Ireland while Switzerland hosted Bulgaria. The national team and Switzerland then have 15 points and Italy remains at the top of the group thanks to a better goal difference (+11 against +9).

To qualify directly for the World Cup, Italy had to meet one of these conditions:

• Victory in Northern Ireland without Switzerland winning against Bulgaria by making up for their goal difference.

• Draw in Northern Ireland and Switzerland fail to win against Bulgaria.

• Lose to Northern Ireland and Switzerland also lose to Bulgaria but fail to recover on goal difference.

But unfortunately for them, the Italians performed worse than the Swiss. The Squadra Azzura drew in Northern Ireland (0-0) while Switzerland beat Bulgaria 4-0 to take the lead in the group and send second-placed Italy to the play-offs.

Who were Italy’s opponents in the European zone play-offs?

Twelve teams took part in the play-offs. They were split into three different paths with two knockout matches to play: a semi-final and then a final.

Italy were placed in Path C against North Macedonia and their potential final opponents were either Portugal or Turkey (who met in Lisbon in the other semi-final).

Being seeded, Italy received North Macedonia on 24 March 2022 in Palermo. Italy scandalously dominated the match (32 shots) but displayed an astonishing lack of realism (only five shots on goal). The selection coached by Roberto Mancini finally loses in stoppage time to a shot from distance by Alexandre Trajkovski (90+3rd).

The Italians were therefore eliminated even before the play-off final. A final won by Portugal with a score of 2-0 against North Macedonia.

How many times have Italy missed the FIFA World Cup?

Italy has participated in the World Cup 18 times (in 1934, 1938, 1950, 1954, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014) and has only he has been absent from the finals four times (in 1930, 1958, 2018 and 2022).

Already not qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it is the first time in its history that Italy have missed the finals twice in a row.

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