FIGC Makes Its First Post-World Cup Mistake

June 25, 2010 - 06083997 date 24 06 2010 Copyright imago Sesa Disappointed Italian supporters in Rome After the eliminated her Teams in the Fight PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxITAxFRA serenaxcremaschi Rome Football men World Cup National team international match Public Viewing Fanfest Party supporters Spectators disappointed ITA Portrait Vdig xub 2010 horizontal premiumd.

Of the many reasons Italy was said to have flopped so spectacularly in the World Cup, one was the lack of friendlies prior to the actual tournament.  Those that were played, like the Mexico loss, showed the deficiencies in the club but their rarity failed to provide an opportunity to rectify those deficiencies.  In the midst of outrage, rending of garments, and promises to change the Azzurri in time for the next World Cup, FIGC has decided to repeat its pre-World Cup mistakes from the start. is reporting this morning that FIGC has failed to line up an opponent for their August 11 friendly, leaving Aremnia as possibly the only European opponent available to play.  So rather than shake off the failure of the 2010 World Cup and unveil the Prandelli era with new players and an exciting match-up, Italian fans could be faced with a boring over-matched Armenian club.  Contrast this with the United States, who in August will face Brazil in the Meadowlands, one of the largest American stadiums next to its largest city.

Granted, the squad that runs out onto the pitch in August 2010 will not be the same as the one that goes to Brazil in 2014, but the country needs to begin the “healing process” with an exciting match-up.  FIGC needed to plan ahead and put up an exciting match, but probably failed to do so expecting the team to be recovering from World Cup greatness.  It isn’t, and the leadership has failed to begin adequately preparing for the future.

If you wanted an exciting beginning to the Prandelli era, here are three matches I would rather see:

  1. Cameroon in Milan.  Samuel Eto’o could play in front of the Inter Milan fans and the Azzurri would play a beatable but talented African team.
  2. Argentina in Naples.  Granted a number of attendees would root for Argentina, but the return of Maradona to Naples would be electric.  It would also give the Azzurri a chance to play a good squad in their home country, and a win would give instant credibility to the new manager and players.
  3. South Korea in Rome.  The traditional power plays host to an up-and-coming national team in one of soccer’s greatest venues.  South Korea has proven they are building a competitive national team, and the match with Italy would be a good way to measure up the new Italian squad with a successful World Cup team.  This match-up could give the Italian faithful flashbacks to the 1992 loss to South Kora, though, so it would behoove the Azzurri to win.

0 thoughts on “FIGC Makes Its First Post-World Cup Mistake”

  1. Hello Robert,

    I mentioned lack of friendlies before WC2010 as one of the mistakes committed by FIGC and Lippi. He had to change the system, play some out of position and make lineup changes because he didn’t have enough friendlies to test things out.

    I think friendlies against European teams are best tests for now since Euro 2012 is the next target.

  2. Agreed, a European friendly would have been nice. But it looks like they failed to plan far enough ahead to actually get a decent European opponent. No offense to the fine Armenian people. That is a problem in and of itself.

    1. Hi Robert,

      The decision to hire Donadoni after Lippi left was the wrong choice. Donadoni barely managed a club before and his best experience was with Livorno. He would later fail with Napoli as a coach too. Donadoni was a quality player and is good to deal with but this is not about picking a retired Azzurri player or a person with good character. It’s about picking an experienced and quality coach. FIGC did wrong with Donadoni and set Italy back 2 years.

      Then the decision to bring back Lippi was strange but in any case no point going back. The lesson is to learn from previous mistakes but it seems it’s not happening because prior to WC2010 the Azzurri were the worst prepared and had the lowest number of friendlies! France played Costa Rica, China and Tunisia. Mexico played around 7 friendlies. Others played more than 3. Italy settled for 2 versus Mexico and Switzerland and then some training sessions against local teams in Italy or South Africa.

  3. I feel that even if Italy played more friendlies before this World Cup, the results would’ve been the same. I think that in the future more friendlies is a good idea, but this World Cup was a lost cause.

    1. Azzurri rarely perform well or give their best in friendlies but I think more friendlies would have allowed Lippi for more testing in terms of lineup and tactics.

      At the end, you’re Niccolo, I doubt it would have made a difference. As bad as this Italy team was, a Round of 16 or QF should have been within reach. The players just underperformed.

  4. Playing any of those 3 teams would be a decent game but for Euro 2012 it would be user to play European teams with similar characteristics to the teams in the Azzurri group.

  5. Some of the players just couldn’t raise their game at the 2010 WC
    in South Africa. Vincenzo Iaquinta was an obvious culprit. The
    goalkeeper was just not in the picture. Marcello Lippi shouldn’t
    shoulder the responsibility of failure all alone. Some of those
    players disappointed him. Kudos to Fabio Quagliarella, Riccardo
    Montolivo, Antonio Di Natale and Maggio.

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