Meanwhile In Moscow: Italy…and Now, What?

November 13, 2017. One of the worst days in the recent Italian history: The day the Azzurri failed to qualify for a World Cup for the first time in 60 years. As the competition in Russia started today, The Cult of Calcio asked some disappointed Italian fans how will they cope with the absence of their beloved from the competition. Here is what their responses were.

World Cup Meteors: Schillaci, Crownless King of Italia ’90

As World Cup 1990 approached, Italy’s coach Azeglio Vicini could lineup strikers such as Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Baggio. Still, he decided to add to his squad a little known Sicilian forward from Juventus. His name was Salvatore Schillaci, and he became the underdog King of the Notti Magiche (“Magic Nights”) of Italia ’90, scoring 6 goals and leading the Azzurri to the 3rd place.

World Cup Meteors: Grosso, the Last Minute Man

“You will take the last penalty, because you have always been decisive so far.” This is what coach Marcello Lippi told Fabio Grosso before the penalty shootouts that determined the outcome of World Cup 2006 Final between Italy and France. Lippi’s choice to bet on a player who was not even part of his original starting lineup proved to be a winning one.

World Cup Meteors: Ahn, Italy’s Korean Killer

In Italy, we call “meteora” (meteor) a player who lives a short period of glory before fading away. The World Cup is full of such stories and, as we get closer to Russia 2018, Antonio Guarini takes us on a journey through the Top 10 “one-hit-wonders” in the recent history of the top football competition, starting with the Korean striker who made the whole of Italy cry in 2002.

Coach Di Biagio Chooses Continuity: Buffon In, Balo Out

The revolution can wait. For his first convocations as interim head coach of the Italian Nazionale, Luigi Di Biagio chose to walk a conservative path. Those who were hoping for a complete cleanup among the Azzurri ranks after their shameful failure to qualify for the upcoming World Cup might be disappointed – and yet, the pool of human resources available to Di Biagio didn’t leave much room for different choices.

Fiorentina Captain Davide Astori Passes Away at 31

The world of football was shocked today at the tragic news that Fiorentina captain Davide Astori suddenly passed away at 31 in Udine. Astori, who was capped 14 times by the Italian Nazionale, was found dead in his hotel room, apparently on natural causes. Lega Serie A emergency leader Giovanni Malago’ ordered the immediate cancellation of all Serie A and Serie B matches in program today.

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