World Cup

Jorginho admits Italy penalty misses in World Cup qualifying will haunt him forever

Jude Summerfield
Jorginho will not be at the World Cup
Jorginho will not be at the World Cup / Claudio Villa/GettyImages

Jorginho has admitted his penalty misses earlier in Italy's World Cup qualifying campaign will haunt him for the rest of his life following their playoff defeat to North Macedonia.

The Euro 2020 champions lacked a cutting edge throughout the first stage of qualifying, finishing second behind Switzerland in Group C to move into the playoff format.

However, the Azzurri would have qualified as group winners had Chelsea midfielder Jorginho not missed penalties in both of his international side's draws with Switzerland, who ultimately topped the group.

Speaking after the defeat to North Macedonia, he said: “It hurts when I think about it, because I do still think about it and it will haunt me for the rest of my life.

“Stepping up there twice and not being able to help your team and your country is something that I will carry with me forever, and it weighs on me. People say we need to lift our heads and carry on, but it’s tough.”

While they dominated the playoff semi-final with North Macedonia, quality chances were hard to come by, with Domenico Berardi being wasteful and Ciro Immobile seeing most of his shots blocked.

While Jorginho claimed his side didn't lack creativity, he did admit the absence of a clinical touch ended up costing them.

“It is difficult to explain what happened. It hurts so much,” he added. "I’ll be honest, I am still incredulous. I don’t think we lacked creativity, as we always dominated matches and created so many chances. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish them off.

“We played good football, we won the European Championships last summer, but unfortunately in the last few games we made small errors and were unable to recover from them. They made the difference.”

It's the second consecutive World Cup that Italy have failed to qualify for, having missed out in 2018, and there are major questions marks over the future of manager Roberto Mancini.

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