Mason Mount has sent a heartfelt message to Chelsea teammate Jorginho after the midfielder saw his national side Italy knocked out of World Cup qualification against North Macedonia. It means that despite being crowned European Champions last summer, the Azzurri will not be at the World Cup later this year, the second time in a row that they’ve missed out.
It comes after a disappointing campaign for Italy in the qualifiers, finishing second in their group behind Switzerland. While they never lost a game in their group, they drew four out of eight and had to settle for a playoff route.
It seemed as though the side were set to face Portugal in the final of the playoffs, but minnows North Macedonia caused an upset to remember with a 91st minute strike to win the game 1-0. It brought about a new low after a summer of highs for the nation.
Jorginho in particular has found it a tough one to take as he missed two crucial penalties against Switzerland in the group that could have seen them finish top instead, avoiding the whole playoff route altogether. Discussing the moment, he told RAI Sport: “It hurts when I think about it, because I do still think about it and it will haunt me for the rest of my life.
“Stepping up there twice and not being able to help your team and your country is something that I will carry with me forever, and it weighs on me. People say we need to lift our heads and carry on, but it’s tough.”
It shows the toll of how difficult it has been for Jorginho to take, despite his usual reliability from the spot. Following that, Mount has given a message of support to his midfield teammate.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: “I always mention that ‘Jorgy’ is the joker in the group, but when it comes to big games against us, there is nothing but respect between us all. It’s all about respect. If you look at how far both teams (England and Italy) had to come to get that opportunity in the final, it was a massive amount of work.
“So, no, I won’t be giving him jokes or stick about what’s happened with Italy. It’s hard for me to see a player I have played with for the last three years go through something like that. I actually sent him a little message and said, ‘keep your head up, you’ve had an amazing season and hopefully we can go on this season to win some more things together’.”
It shows the togetherness of the Chelsea squad and dressing room that they are able to try and pick one another up after a crushing defeat like that
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