2017 was full of shocking moments and massive upsets in the world of football. These are the two biggest upsets of the year as part of The Mastermind Awards 2017.
Italy Fail to Qualify for World Cup 2018
The road to the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a rocky one for many teams. Netherlands, Chile, USA and Algeria were among many top nations left heartbroken after they came up short of qualifying for the distinguished tournament. But of all the teams to fail to qualify, Italy’s collapse was certainly the most devastating. Put in almost any other group, Italy likely would have qualified as the top team in their group. But the Azzurri were put in the same group as Spain, finished as runners-up to the 2010 winners and as a result had to go through a two-leg playoff match against Sweden. Shockingly, Sweden progressed on an aggregate score of 1-0, with the blame falling on Italia’s stellar strikers that just could not find the back of the net. Four players: Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Barzagli and most notably Gigi Buffon, all retired following the game and with the ages of all four, you get the feeling that this really would have been their last chance to play in the World Cup. The blame has to be put down to the poor management of Gian Piero Ventura, formerly the manager of Torino and sacked following the team’s collapse, but it was still a massive upset. The four-time winners of the tournament had in form players like Lorenzo Insigne, Marco Verratti and Ciro Immobile all strutting their stuff for fun at club level and all of whom would have certainly starred at the tournament had they qualified. Unfortunately, no Italian player will be featuring at this year’s World Cup and two years ago, that would have been unthinkable.
Juventus Lose UCL Final
If anyone had a chance at dethroning Real Madrid it was Juventus. The Italian giants were in stunning form leading up to the final with all of their top talents in full flow. Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain were leading the way up front, the entire back-line was unbeatable and Miralem Pjanic was pulling the strings from midfield. But the Italian club just could not make it happen and one of the greatest footballers of all time – Gianluigi Buffon will likely now go without ever winning the UEFA Champions League – a massive upset for the keeper personally and the team as a whole.
So there it is! The nominees for Biggest Upset as part of The Mastermind Awards 2017. Like what you read? Subscribe for more and make sure to be back here on December 5th to begin voting for all the awards! See you soon!
♥ = The Mastermind’s choice for each award category.