Lazio great Di Canio: Why I expected World Cup failure

Lazio great Paolo di Canio has blasted Italian football after this week’s World Cup failure.

Defeat to North Macedonia saw Italy fail to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Di Canio told Sky Italia: “Last night I was very calm on the sofa, maybe too much so. I had a feeling it would end up like this, I saw it immediately. Seeing the images again makes me even more angry. There was too much frenzy and nervousness, even Mancini from the first minute was only pointing out the player’s mistake.

“He was worried, it was not the attitude that reflected the words before the game, when he talked about winning the World Cup. After the game last night I had the disappointment of those who expected it.

“I was convinced that the omelette would’ve been made, there was too much anxiety and Macedonia impressed in defence, then went and got the goal in attack. The goal came from a player who has quality, but he was not pressed. Everyone let him do it. After the calm, however, I got angry, I’m angry with the whole of Italian football.

“I don’t want to belittle what Italy did, they made us proud. I used to mock my English friends. Then after Euro 2020, when people went back to talking about football, everyone thought a cycle had been opened, highlighting what we had achieved. But I was never convinced.

“In my heart I said that we were also lucky, with Spain on penalties, with England the same, and with Austria if Arnautovic’s kneecap hadn’t been offside we would have gone out. I don’t want to belittle, I repeat, but we don’t have excellence.

“Yesterday Berardi made a lot of mistakes, I don’t want to put the blame on him, but he suffered in the game. It’s one thing to play with the Sassuolo shirt, it’s another to wear the national team’s shirt.”

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