Legendary former Inter defender Beppe Bergomi feels that the failure by the Italian national team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup is worse than their failure for the previous edition of the competition had been.
Speaking to Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, the Nerazzurri legend gave the view that the weight of expectation and potential has made this a more damaging loss.
Italy went out in a 1-0 loss to North Macedonia in a qualifying playoff round, ensuring that they will miss the World Cup for the second time in a row.
In between the two failures to qualify, however, the team won the Euros, and also saw the emergence of a number of top talents including Nerazzurri stars Nicolo Barella and Alessandro Bastoni.
Bergomi feels that the disappointment is all the more intense following this particular failure, and that it will be more difficult for fans of the Azzurri to take.
“This elimination is worse than it was five years ago,” he said. “Back then we carried a poor ranking and we finished second in the group behind a strong Spain.”
“This time around we were seeded in the group and failed to see off Switzerland, missing two penalties in as many direct clashes,” he went on.
“And then the play-offs,” Bergomi said, “it’s one thing to have Sweden as an opponent, and another, with all due respect, to challenge Macedonia.”