After being drawn against Spain in their qualifying group, Italy must have feared having to qualify for the World Cup the hard way - via the playoffs.
The Italians picked up just one point from their two fixtures against Spain, whilst also drawing at home to Macedonia meaning their fears became reality.
Of course, the four-time World Cup winners had the advantage of being seeded meaning they faced a non-seeded side. And when they were drawn against Sweden, the Azzurri must have fancied their chances.
Ok, the Swedes had deservedly earned their place in the playoffs having finished second in their group consisting of both France and the Netherlands.
But Italy were still expected to beat them over two legs.
In fact, the Italians were confident of beating them.
So confident that they even booked their hotel in Russia for next summer.
Denmark to take Italy's hotel?
That’s according to Danish daily newspaper, Sport, who have explained how their national side could now take their booking after they triumphed in their respective playoff against the Republic of Ireland.
"The big countries have settled in the bigger venues, and so we need to see what we can get," says Claus Bretton-Meyer, CEO of DBU.
And then when asked about the vacant hotel that has previously been booked by Italy, Bretton-Meyer revealed that Denmark might look into replacing them.
"Now there is a big difference between the preferences of the Danes and Italians. But it is clear that we can end up in a situation where we must get what we can get.”
How embarrassing for Italy.
Not only did they fail to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958, they will lose the deposit money for the plush hotel they booked next summer in Russia.
Let’s hope they remember to contact the hotel to let them know they can no longer make it.
That’s probably the last thing on the minds of the Italian FA right now, though. They are no doubt already looking for their next manager after the sacking of Gian Piero Ventura.
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