Italy has been punished, thanks to their poor performances Italy has lost ground in the FIFA and UEFA rankings. La Gazzetta dello Sport is reporting that Italy has fallen all the way down to 11th in the FIFA rankings, behind Chile and Egypt. This is an anticipation that will most likely be confirmed the 14th of July, when the FIFA rankings are updated. As for the European rankings which were created two years ago by Michel Platini, it is expected that Italy will fall down to 7th, behind Croatia and Russia who by the way, didn’t qualify to participate in this World Cup.
So Italian football is spiralling down a very bad path with the cracks in the system only slightly covered by Inter Milan’s treble victory. The bad thing is, Inter Milan won the treble with practically no Italians, and although Balotelli had some appearances, Materazzi, Santon, and Toldo played no part in winning three cups for the nerazzurri. And what seems to be missing in the Serie A is a team like what Juventus used to be, Italy’s team, full of Italian players who played together during the season, and then went to the World Cup knowing each other well. This created a solid group of Italian players that not only thrived in European club competition, but also played together to win international tournaments.
Sadly, a team that I’ve described above doesn’t seem to exist anywhere in the near future; Inter Milan have decided to stick with only foreign players, AC Milan are addicted to Brazilians like Ronaldinho, and Pato, Juventus are a strange mix with a sprinkle of Italian talent, and Roma are also lacking Italians. Only a few teams use Italian players, these being Cagliari, Genoa, and Sampdoria. Maybe there just isn’t enough Italian talent to go around, and maybe the talent there is, isn’t good enough.
But the Italian national team isn’t the worst off, France are expected to fall below the 20th mark with their terrible performances, but that’s about the only other big country that’s falling heavily. Italy are right in front of Greece (12th) and Serbia (13th), and for the EURO 2012 qualifications, Italy will be playing the Serbians. Italy will also be playing Sovenia, Northern Ireland, Estonia, and the Faroe Islands in the qualification for the 2012 EUROs which will be held in Poland and Ukraine. But the scary part is, that the draw for the qualification for Brazil 2014 will be affected by the FIFA rankings, therefore probably putting Italy with one of the stronger teams in the qualification group, and at risk of qualifying. I don’t want to see Italy in a qualifying group with Spain, Germany, or the Netherlands, because that means that we wouldn’t qualify if things continue the way they’re going.
As for the rest of the nations in the FIFA rankings, here’s what it will look like after the update on the 14th of July:
While Spain and the Netherlands will fight for first the World Cup final, all the other team’s positions should be like this come the next update. What are your thoughts on Italy’s future position in the FIFA rankings? Share your thoughts below.