Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup on Monday after failing to overturn Sweden’s 1-0 lead from the first-leg, and the fallout is still ongoing a few days later.
Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi all announced their retirement from the national team while manager Gian Piero Ventura has been, unsurprisingly, sacked.
Ventura was always going to be in trouble with the Italian FA for failing to guide Italy to a World Cup for the first time since 1958.
But his decisions during that second-leg against Sweden certainly did him no favours.
To leave Lorenzo Insigne on the bench for the entire 90 minutes when you’re in desperate need of a goal was baffling, to say the least.
Instead, Ventura tried to bring on De Rossi in the closing stages of the match.
The 34-year-old had other ideas, though.
In his last act in Italian colours, he refused to warm-up and suggested that it should be Insigne coming on instead with the side in need of a goal.
While De Rossi didn’t come on in the end, neither did Insigne.
De Rossi has been praised for his behaviour but what did Insigne think of the whole episode?
What Insigne said to De Rossi afterward
Well, he has spoken to Neapolitan paper Il Mattino about the bizarre moment.
“It doesn’t matter who plays, the decisions must always be accepted. I even did when I was used for only a minute,” he said.
"I thanked Daniele because he did something great, I told him he was like a true leader who wants to help the team.”
De Rossi explained his actions
Immediately after the game, De Rossi apologised for undermining the Italian coaches and explained exactly why he did it.
"We have this tendency to warm up three at a time, then after five minutes we change and another three go," he told Rai Sport.
"I just said we were near the end and had to win, so send the strikers to warm up. I pointed to Insigne too.
"It wasn't up to me whether it was a tactical issue. I'm sorry if I offended anyone. At the time I just thought perhaps it was better that Insigne come on instead."
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