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Jorginho 'haunted' by costly penalty misses as Italy crash out of World Cup play-offs

00:15 GMT 25/03/2022
Jorginho dejected Italy 2022
The Chelsea midfielder and his nation paid the price for two unsuccessful spot-kicks against Switzerland that proved crucial

Italy star Jorginho cut a dejected figure at the end of his side's shock defeat to North Macedonia on Thursday, admitting that he is tortured by two costly penalty misses during the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Euro 2020 champions went down to a late defeat in Palermo to bow out of the running for Qatar.

It is the second consecutive World Cup finals the Azzurri will miss, the first time in their history that has occurred.

What was said?

Jorginho, usually one of football's most assured spot-kick practicioners, erred twice in as many matches against Switzerland during the first round of qualifying, depriving Italy of two wins that would have seen them take first place ahead of their neighbours in Group C.

“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," the Chelsea midfielder told RAI Sport.

"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.”

'Hard to explain'

Italy became on Thursday the first reigning European champion to miss out on the World Cup since Greece in 2006 and Jorginho, one of the heroes of their Euro 2020 triumph, admits that it will take time to recover from such a blow.

“It is hard to explain what happened,” he added.

“It hurts so much. 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 Championship last summer, but unfortunately in the last few games we made small errors and were unable to recover from them. They made the difference.”

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