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10 biggest chokes in football history

  • Even the big guns can crumble under pressure.
Tina Kaviraj
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 09:32 IST

#9 Italy – 2010 FIFA World Cup

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 24:  Fabio Cannavaro captain of Italy encourages his dejected team mates following the first goal by Slovakia during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group F match between Slovakia and Italy at Ellis Park Stadium on June 24, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
Fabio Cannavaro encourages the Italian squad after crashing out of the 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.

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Published 09 Feb 2017, 22:13 IST
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