What was football and life like when Italy last missed a World Cup in 1958?

What was football and life like when Italy last missed a World Cup in 1958?
From ESPN - November 14, 2017

Italy is coming to terms with its national team's failure to qualify for a World Cup finals for the first time in 60 years.

The four-time world champions' 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in their qualification playoff ended their run of 14 consecutive World Cup appearances since missing out on the 1958 finals in, ironically, Sweden.

Since then, Italian sides have enjoyed great success in world football's premier competition, reaching the final four times and lifting the trophy twice, in 1982 and 2006 to add to the titles claimed in 1934 and 1938.

Monday's defeat also brought an undignified end to the glittering international careers of quartet Andrea Barzagli, Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele De Rossi.

To put into context just how long it has been since Italy last missed a World Cup, here are some things to show what the game of football and the wider world were like in 1958.


1. Sweden reached the World Cup final

If Monday's result did not hurt enough for Italian fans, the last time their team failed to reach the World Cup their vanquishers Sweden finished as the tournament's runners-up. The hosts put on a series of impressive displays, including a 3-1 win over West Germany in the semifinals, before a 17-year-old Pele's brace helped Brazil to a 5-2 victory.

2. Wolverhampton Wanderers were English First Division champions

The fact that the Premier League would not come into existence for over 30 years tells its own story. Current Championship high-fliers Wolves held off Preston North End to claim their second First Division title, four years after their first, and they retained the title the following year.

3. Real Madrid won the European Cup for the third time

One thing that has not changed is Real Madrid's dominance in Europe. A goal from Francisco Gento in extra time saw Los Blancos beat AC Milan 3-2 to secure the third of their five consecutive European Cup titles. Madrid picked up a record 12th title with a 4-1 win over Juventus in June.

4. Raymond Kopa won the Ballon d'Or

Real Madrid and France midfielder Raymond Kopa was awarded the accolade of Europe's best player. In addition to helping Madrid to European Cup glory, Kopa was a key figure in France's 1958 World Cup run, scoring three goals as they finished third.

5. Bobby Moore made his debut for West Ham

English football icon Bobby Moore made his first appearance for the Hammers on Sept. 8, 1958 as a 17-year-old in a First Division clash with Manchester United. Although he started as a winger, he soon shifted to the heart of the defence where he led England to World Cup glory eight years later.

6. The Munich Air Disaster happened

British European Airways flight 609 crashed in Munich on Feb. 6, 1958 while carrying Matt Busby's Manchester United squad (the "Busby Babes") home from a European Cup match in Belgrade. The accident resulted in the deaths of 20 of the 44 people travelling on the aircraft, including eight first-team players.

7. Liverpool were playing in the Second Division



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