10 biggest chokes in football history
- Even the big guns can crumble under pressure.
#9 Italy – 2010 FIFA World Cup
It’s unfair to expect defending World Cup champions to repeat their performance a second consecutive time after four years, but we do expect some level of quality from them. Not Italy though. The Azzurri defeated France in a controversial final to lift the World Cup in 2006 but when they returned to defend their victory four years later, the Italian national side was a shadow of their former selves.
With stalwarts like Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Fabio Cannavaro and Andrea Pirlo, no one expected them to choke in the way they did in 2010. Apart from the distinction of being defending champions, the Italian national squad could not have found themselves in an easier group.
(Video Courtesy: 2010WorldCupMoments YouTube Channel)
With Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia to keep them company in Group F, the Azzurri were expected to qualify to the next round. But, they couldn’t win a single game in the group stage, the Italians were at the bottom and on their way home after the first round.Published 09 Feb 2017, 22:13 IST