Shell-shocked Marco Verratti says it’s a ‘NIGHTMARE’ that Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup… as the PSG star claims they had the players to lift the trophy in Qatar, despite losing to North Macedonia
- Italy failed to qualify for a second successive World Cup on Thursday evening
- They were beaten 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in their playoff semi-final
- Marco Verratti was distraught after the game, calling the result a ‘disaster’
- Verratti thought Italy ‘dominated the game’ but admitted it wasn’t enough
- He questioned how Italy had gone for ‘hero to zero’ so quickly after Euro 2020
Marco Verratti was distraught after Italy missed out on a second successive World Cup by losing 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in their playoff semi-final.
Verratti thought Italy ‘dominated the game’ and said his team-mates ‘gave everything’, but admitted it wasn’t enough to qualify for the final of the play-offs.
Verratti described the result as a ‘disaster’ and said he was struggling to ‘understand’ how they went from ‘hero to zero’ so quickly following their triumph at Euro 2020.
Marco Verratti was distraught after Italy missed out on a second successive World Cup
Speaking after the game, Verratti told RAI Sport: ‘It is difficult to understand. I think we dominated this match and we should’ve won. We had to win.’
He went on to add: ‘It is difficult to understand. I think we dominated this match and we should’ve won. We had to win.
‘Looking around the locker room, we had the players to challenge for the tournament itself, yet here we are talking about a disaster. It’s so tough to go from hero to zero.
The Italian’s were beaten 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in their playoff semi-final (above)
North Macedonia scored in stoppage time to advance to the next stage of the play-offs
‘We experienced special times together and I will always be proud of my teammates. This is football, you need to score goals. We didn’t manage it, but we gave everything we had. It wasn’t enough.
‘We have to ask ourselves questions now. There’s some bad luck, but you also need to make your own luck.’
The result comes as a blow to Italy – who failed to qualify for the World Cup four years ago, their first failure to reach football’s global showpiece tournament since 1958.
Verratti was a member of the squad that failed to qualify for the tournament in 2018.
The result comes shortly after Italy overcame England at Wembley to win the Euro 2020 final
The European Champions were favourites to take a big step towards the tournament in Qatar on Thursday night. However, Aleksandar Trajkovski had other plans for the Italians as he picked up the loose ball in the 92nd minute, drove at their defence and fired it home from outside the box to make it 1-0.
The North Macedonia bench erupted with joy as the ball touched the back of the net, while the Italian’s dropped to their knees and held their head in their hands.
The result came just eight months after Roberto Mancini’s side beat England at Wembley in the Euro 2020 final.