Italy's jaw-dropping World Cup record spanning 20 years highlighted after North Macedonia shock


One frankly staggering statistic to have come to the fore on the back of Italy's shock defeat at the hands of North Macedonia this evening has aptly highlighted just how appalling the Azzurri have truly been on international football's biggest stage for the best part of two decades now.

Roberto Mancini's troops were of course back in action a short time ago.

After failing to top the nation's group for the 2022 World Cup, Italy were pitted in a playoff showdown with North Macedonia, with the winners aware that they would advance to face one of Portugal or Turkey in a one-off clash for a spot in Qatar.

And, incredibly, when all was said and done, it was the visitors who departed Palermo with their World Cup hopes still intact.

This came as the Italians, despite completely dominating in terms of possession and chances created, succumbed to a last-gasp winner on the part of North Macedonian hero Aleksandar Trajkovski:

Mancini's men, just last summer crowned the champions of Europe, will therefore play no part at the upcoming winter World Cup.

And, on the back of their latest high-profile failure, a remarkable statistic, highlighting just how badly Italy have struggled in recent years when it comes to world football's biggest competition, has surfaced.

As showcased below, the Azzurri have now not featured in a single knockout game at the World Cup since winning the competition all the way back in 2006.

This means that, should they qualify for the 2026 edition, and reach the Last-16, it will mark the first time for 20 years in which they will have done so.

Not only that, but the Italians have failed to qualify for back-to-back World Cup tournaments for the first time in the nation's history.

Ronaldo and co. march on

For North Macedonia, on the other hand, the Qatar-shaped dream remains alive.

Next up for Blagoja Milevski and co? A showdown with heavyweights Portugal.

This comes after A Selecao, despite a late scare, got the better of Turkey, owing to goals from all of Otavio, Diogo Jota and Matheus Nunes.


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Conor Laird

Conor Laird

Die-hard Juventus fan with a love for all things Italian, and a real soft spot for Arsenal cult heroes. Emmanuel Eboue, Nicklas Bendtner, Philippe Senderos... Give them all statues outside the Emirates.

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