Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second successive tournament. The Euro 2021 champions, will not have played a game in the World Cup since 2014. The Italian’s next opportunity will be 12 years later — almost unfathomable for a nation so dedicated to the development of the sport and so passionate about their football.
Roberto Mancini, the current Italian National team coach, has a contract with the federation that expires in June 2026. Italy’s elimination at the hands of North Macedonia in the play-off’s may mean the coach steps down by his own accord. Mancini called the defeat, “the worst in his career”. Italy have one game remaining against Turkey on Tuesday and Mancini will likely announce his decision after the match. The Italian Federation’s president, Gabriele Gravina, said he would not sack Mancini, so it comes down to Mancini to make the call.
Italian news outlet, La Gazzetta dello Sport, reports 2006 Italy World Cup captain and former Real Madrid Balon d’Or winning center-back, Fabio Cannavaro, is the leading candidate to take over if Mancini resigns. The other big name on the list of potential candidates is current Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti. It’s unclear what the future holds for Ancelotti and Real Madrid and the Italian may want to take the chance to coach his nation during the next World Cup cycle.