The World Cup seen from Italy: The France-Argentina final… and never again!

Roberto Mancini can breathe. At last. For the coach of Italy, this end of the World Cup in Qatar looks a bit like a release. « These four weeks of competition are going to be long, the non-qualification still hurts (…) I’m just waiting for the World Cup to end, because a World Cup without Italy is not one« , he confided just before the first match last November. Since then, sixty-two have been played and everything has gone pretty well. But without the Nazionale, again. Nicolò Barella even explained that he was watching the fewer matches possible Reason given in the columns by La Gazzetta dello Sport : the pill has not passed. He preferred to concentrate on the « scudetto lift » with his club, Inter Milan, rather than focusing on a competition where he and his teammates were unable to qualify. So there is no need to rub salt in a wound that cannot be healed.

However, on the other side of the Alps, the audiences were there throughout the competition. « We are very happysays Rai. By offering all the matches in the clear, we had great satisfaction, such as the France-England quarter-final, where a peak of 10 million viewers was approached. For the half between Argentina and England, we exceeded it with 10,284,000 viewers. And for France-Morocco, even better with 11.8 million. We should do even more for the grand finale on Sunday. But overall, these hearings are already a huge success.. »

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So how do you analyze them? « The truth is that we cannot live without football. Even when it’s someone else’s…« , summarizes the journalist Fabrizio Biasin. Yes, Italy remains a country of football and even if his selection does not participate in a major competition like the World Cup, asking him not to watch it is impossible, especially in the middle of winter. . The Gazzetta dello Sportwho carefully analyzed the audiences in the evening during France-Morocco, indicated that between « 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., almost one out of two TVs was on for the match » in Italy.

« We also looked to follow our club playerstells us Federico, thirty-year-old tifoso of Inter Milan. Looking back, I have to admit that I didn’t miss many matches, when it was compatible with my job. My friends, the same. We love football too much not to turn on the TV when there is, and free of charge. It has become too rare today. What should we have done, not watch the matches because the Nazionale were not able to qualify by beating North Macedonia? We were deprived of a pleasure, we didn’t want to deprive ourselves of the second eitherIn the press, both sports and general, there was no shortage of pages on the World Cup, generally finding themselves before those devoted to Serie A. No one could miss the World Cup, even if they wanted to do it on purpose. Chase the natural…

A World Cup without Italy? « An Aperol Spritz without Aperol »

Here, in Italy, we therefore took pleasure in front of this Qatari World Cup. Seeing the Germans get knocked out in the first round helped a lot. Then no one could remain unmoved by the road exits of Belgium, Brazil, Spain or Portugal. « For some posters it was sold outwelcomes Pietro, manager of a bar in Milan. It obviously had nothing to do with the attendance at Euro 2021 and the victory of the Nazionale, but we can say that we limited the damage. People were relaxed, they just came with friends to watch football matches over a drink. Afterwards, without the Nazionale, something was necessarily missing. This joy, this stress, this communion… It’s a bit like serving an Aperol Spritz without Aperol. »

Now, place for the ultimate tarantella between France and Argentina. If the majority of Italians will probably be behind the formation of Lionel Scaloni, both for the eternal rivalry with the Blues and the indelible affection for Albiceleste and Diego Maradona, especially in Naples, blue tips should arise from everywhere, Sunday, at 4 p.m. In Milan, already, where the Rossoneri supporters will want to see Olivier Giroud and Théo Hernandez, their proteges, on the roof of the world after climbing on that of Italy last season. But not only. As of January 1, 2021, a census reported more than 30,000 French people residing in Italy.

2026, so near, so far

Once the final has passed, and the doors of this World Cup have been definitively closed, all of Calcio will be able to immerse themselves in their daily lives and their championship, synonymous with immutable rivalries and eternal controversies. But with, at least, a common hope. That of having attended, from November 20 to December 18, the last edition of the World Cup disputed without the Nazionale. We won’t talk about numbers or age, but let’s just remember that since the 2006 final, the counter has simply shown one victory in the competition (against England in 2014) and two non-qualifications.

Who is the favourite? « Argentina is a little ahead »

Many have also asked themselves this question: would the Italians have exchanged their victory at Euro 2021 for participation in this 2022 World Cup? Roberto Mancini answered it during a daily interview La Repubblica on November 22. « The pain of absence prevails over the victory of the Euroadmitted the Italian coach. She never leaves me. Maybe in four years, when the World Cup starts again, this feeling of emptiness will pass me. But now it’s like that. It hurts me, you know why? ‘Cause we’ll have to wait to erase this stain. »

At least four years, yes, before the start of a competition which will be played in the United States, Canada and Mexico. And normally at forty-eight. To not participate in the party, this time, it would almost be necessary to want it. With this new format, this column should therefore not see the light of day in four years. But if that were the case, the interested party who is writing these lines to you would then be celebrating his 35th birthday and would not have had a World Cup with Italy since he was 23. No, really …

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