Sports gambling results have included a host of shockers including the demise of the top two World Cup betting commodities from 2006 as France and Italy are eliminated.
Italy entered the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the defending champions and was one of the top tier favorites to again make the Final but “the Azzurri” ended up without a win in their 3 group F matches and went home in total humiliation.
Many sports gambling handicappers are calling Italy’s defeat the official end of an era as manager Fabio Cannavaro, along with players such as Gianluca Zambrotta, Rino Gattuso, Mauro Camoranesi, Gianluigi Buffon, and Andrea Pirlo are all likely to be missing from the 2014 tournament.
Italy opened World Cup action with a 1-1 draw against Paraguay. The real alarm bells started going off, however, in their second match in which they were tied by New Zealand 1-1 in a result that may as well have been a loss. Slovakia then killed off the Italians in their third group F match by a score of 3-2.
Midfielder Daniele De Rossi said it best when he stated that, “There’s no point looking for alibis, as we realized we embarrassed ourselves.”
Departing coach Marcello Lippi was classy in defeat and tried to shoulder all of the blame himself.
“I take all responsibility, none excluded,” said Lippi. “Because if a team arrives at such an important appointment as this with the terror in their legs, heads, and hearts, unable to express themselves, then it means the coach has not prepared the squad properly on any level.”
Lippi went on to apologize to the entire nation of Italy for the debacle.
What was most shocking about Italy’s elimination is that they were competing in what many considered to be one of the weakest group divisions in the entire World Cup.
Italy had an odd mix of seasoned veterans and very young players that did not mesh well together for 2010. After this disaster it will be easier to justify cutting all ties with the heroes of 2006 and building towards the future.
Italy came home to a near empty airport, a far cry from their triumphant 2006 return home.