• Italy are out of FIFA World Cup play-offs
  • This is the second straight World Cup they are set to miss
  • North Macedonia scored an injury-time winner Thursday

Chelsea star Jorginho admitted his missed penalties will "haunt" him forever after his country Italy crashed out of World Cup qualifiers on Thursday.

North Macedonia struck an injury-time winner to hand a shocking 1-0 defeat to Italy, ending the European Champions’ Qatar dream. Forward Aleksandar Trajkovski’s winning goal left Palermo with contrasting scenes of jubilation and devastation in Palermo. Italy will miss their second FIFA World Cup in a row after also failing to qualify for Russia 2018.

One of the most guaranteed spot-kick specialists in world soccer, Jorginho, missed twice in as many games against Switzerland during the first round of qualifying. Had Italy won those two games, they would have finished at the top of Group C and received a direct qualification for Qatar World Cup.

“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,” the Chelsea midfielder was quoted by, as saying in an interview with RAI Sport.

On Thursday, Italy became the first reigning European Champions to miss out on the World Cup since Greece in 2016. Jorginho, who was one of the heroes of the Italian side’s Euro 2020 victory, admitted that it will take a lot of time to recover from such a thump.

"It is hard to explain what happened. It hurts so much. I’ll be honest, I am still incredulous. I don’t think we lacked creativity, as we always dominated matches and created so many chances. We played good football, we won the European Championship last summer, but unfortunately in the last few games, we made small errors and were unable to recover from them. They made the difference," the Chelsea star added further.

Giacomo Raspadori reacts after Italy's shock defeat at home to North Macedonia
Giacomo Raspadori reacts after Italy's shock defeat at home to North Macedonia AFP / Alberto PIZZOLI

Meanwhile, Italy legend Giorgio Chiellini said his teammates are "destroyed and crushed."

"A great void will remain within us. We didn't concede anything tonight apart from the goal. We created plenty of chances, but unfortunately, we didn't manage to score. There is a great disappointment. From September to today we have made mistakes and we have paid for them. I am proud of a team that has given everything. It is clear that we are destroyed and crushed. We hope that this void will give us the push to start again," Juventus defender Chiellini said, according to BBC Sport.