Bukayo Saka out of England squad after positive Covid test
UEFA

One of the great footballing nations will be absent during the World Cup later this year, after Italy again failed to qualify in shock scenes on Thursday night.

The Italians lost out to North Macedonia in their play-off game following a last-gasp winner, meaning that the side who less than a year ago beat England in the finals of the Euros will be staying at home this winter.

Their defeat marked one of the worst results in recent international history – and England fans waited all of 10 seconds before rubbing their faces in it.

As anyone who followed the Euros will remember, Italy captain Giorgio Chiellini pulled down forward Bukayo Saka during a pivotal moment in the final.

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The cynical challenge – which saw him grab the Arsenal forward by the neck – quickly became a meme, and now England fans have been sharing it once again to mark Italy’s unexpected exit.


England fans were also quick to remind Italy defender Leonardo Bonucci – who famously screamed "it's coming to Rome" into the TV camera after beating England in the Euro 2020 final – that it wasn’t coming to Rome this winter.

In fact, they were staying home.

The social media reaction definitely proves that England fans aren't over losing in the final of the Euros. We’re definitely not still bitter about it. At all…



Thursday saw a truly remarkable result play out, after Italy missed out on the World Cup finals again after losing 1-0 at home to North Macedonia in their playoff semi-final.

Aleksandar Trajkovski’s last-gasp strike earned the visitors a famous win – and it means that Italy will miss their second world cup in a row.

The Azzurri did not qualify for the World Cup four years ago, their first failure to reach football’s global showpiece tournament.

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