Italy fails to qualify for 2018 World Cup

Jun 24, 2014; Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, BRAZIL; Italy defender Mattia De Sciglio (2) walks off the field as Uruguay players celebrate after Uruguay's 1-0 win in a 2014 World Cup game at Estadio das Dunas. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Italian men’s national soccer team has failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup following a 0-0 draw against Sweden on Monday. For the first time since 1958, the World Cup will take place without Italy, which will be relegated to the sidelines when the soccer world convenes in Russia next summer.

By virtue of its 1-0 win on aggregate over the Italians, Sweden has now qualified for the 12th World Cup in the nation’s history. It’s the first time the Swedes have made the World Cup since 2006, leaving just three spots to still be decided.

Also failing to qualify is the United States, which was eliminated earlier in the fall. FOX Sports, which paid to televise the event, has now lost out on two big name nations being in the field of competition.

The last time Italy failed to qualify in 1958, the event was held in Sweden. It failed to make it out of the group stage each of the next two times reaching the World Cup.

Missing the event entirely comes on the heels of finishing in 26th place without a win to speak of in 2010, and then 22nd the last time they competed in 2014.

Since the turn of the 21st century, the Italians have been boom or bust at the World Cup. They won the 2006 event in Germany, losing just once during qualification before going 5-0-2 during the World Cup itself.

The next chance Italy will have to qualify for a World Cup comes in 2022 when the event takes place in Qatar.

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