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14 November 2017, 12:40 | Ken Black
The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg
There are two possible narratives as Italy prepare for their World Cup date with destiny against Sweden in Milan on tonight.
"We must be confident in the return leg, otherwise we have already lost".
Sweden recorded a memorable victory over Italy on Friday with a one-goal advantage into the second leg at the San Siro! "We couldn't do it in any other way, they are so skilful".
Neither team was particularly impressive in the first leg of this matchup but Italy had a very disappointing display.
Italian manager Gian Piero Ventura was forced into finally playing Jorginho from the start thanks to Marco Veratti's suspension, and the Napoli man was one of the only bright spots on the night for an Italy side which has consistently struggled for creativity in a tough qualifying campaign. The game means a lot for all of us, not only for me.
Consequently, unless Italy turn things around, tonight will be the last game he plays for his national side, bringing an end to a glittering career at global level that included a World Cup triumph in 2006.
After winning the World Cup in 2006 for a fourth time, Italy went out at the group stage of the next two editions.
"Not for me, but for the football movement, because we failed something that could've been truly important for the country". The 2006 World Champions will miss out on their first World Cup in 60 years, while Sweden will march on to Russian Federation.
"It is an important game for the history of our national team".
Too many first legs have been spoiled by negativity, so why not get rid of them altogether and have each playoff resolved over 90 minutes?
Alessandro Florenzi tried an audacious volley that went a foot wide of Olsen's post, while Immobile came close at the near post but, ultimately, the Azzurri found no solutions to get back into the tie, and will miss out on the world finals for the first time in 60 years.
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