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Why Jorginho shouldn’t quit the Italian national team

Jorginho’s position in the Azzurri squad is the subject of fierce debate following the World Cup play-off disaster against North Macedonia.

The 30-year-old Italian-Brazilian missed two penalties for the Azzurri in World Cup qualifiers against Switzerland last autumn, something that ultimately proved costly as both games ended in a draw, allowing the Swiss to finish top of the qualifying group. The second penalty miss in particular was especially egregious as it came in the 90th minute of the penultimate group game.

Jorginho did not have a strong impact in the Azzurri’s 1-0 loss to North Macedonia yesterday, leading to many accusations that he simply retains possession without contributing in a significant fashion. His last assist for Italy came in a 4-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic ahead of Euro 2020.

The Chelsea midfielder plays an underappreciated role in Roberto Mancini’s 4-3-3 and cutting him as a result of two missed penalties and some poor form seems like an unfair decision at this stage. He is still a vital part of controlling possession and dictating tempo, and his strong understanding with Marco Verratti is still worth exploiting.

It’s obvious that Italy need to make some changes following their World Cup play-off defeat and they have some time to carry out this overhaul, with the next major tournament still two years away. Whether those changes involve cutting Jorginho from the national team or not are still unclear, and ultimately are for Mancini to decide.

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