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Italian soccer is on the brink of disaster

Italy
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Italy pay tribute to Davide Astori before friendly vs. Argentina

Italy's players all wore Astori's No. 13 shirt before facing Argentina on Friday night.

The footballing world lost Davide Astori on March 4, 2018 after the Fiorentina captain and Italy international defender passed away in his sleep due to cardiac arrest before a Serie A match against Udinese.

The Azzurri had a touching tribute ready for their former teammate and friend ahead of Friday's friendly with Argentina at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

In the prematch lineups, Italy's players all wore Astori's No. 13 shirt during a minute's silence while a tribute played around the stadium...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

After World Cup failure, what now for Italy, U.S., Chile and Netherlands?

Brad Guzan joins Taylor Twellman in the ESPN FC Heineken Boot Room bus to talk all angles of the USMNT's World Cup qualifying debacle.
With 100 days to go until the FIFA World Cup, Ian Darke joins a group of ESPN writers and experts for a roundtable discussion about what to expect in Russia this summer.

Several powerhouses won't be present when the World Cup begins. How are Italy, the U.S., Chile and Netherlands dealing with their failure to qualify and what happens next?

What is the biggest issue facing the national team?

Italy: 

The choice of manager to replace Giampiero Ventura. Unable to elect a new president, the FIGC is under the emergency supervision of CONI, Italy's Olympic Committee. Alessandro Costacurta has the job of picking the new coach -- and setting the agenda of reform --...

Argentina struggle early without Lionel Messi, improve late to beat Italy

Argentina's Jorge Sampaoli describes his squad as being Lionel Messi's team and believes the 2018 World Cup will be his tournament to shine.
Argentina's legend Diego Maradona wants to know who will play for Albicelestes in Russia.

MANCHESTER, England -- Three points from the Etihad Stadium on Argentina's 2-0 win over Italy in an international friendly.

1. Argentina, Italy headed for opposite summers

Argentina have realistic hopes of winning the World Cup, Italy are trying to rebuild after a disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign but it's difficult to see if either will take too much from a mostly dismal friendly at the Etihad Stadium.

Substitute Ever Banega and Manuel Lanzini lit up the game with two excellent...

 By Chris Wright

Italy, Uruguay, Ghana among 10 teams to get very similar away kits from Puma

With the World Cup beginning to crown on the horizon, Puma have released a flurry of new kits for the likes of Uruguay, Ghana and Switzerland.

While rival suppliers Adidas have been widely praised for their retro-infused offerings, Puma have opted to plough a more prosaic furrow.

Indeed, it looks like "very, very white" was the central design brief for all 10 shirts, with Italy, Senegal, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Austria and Serbia also getting new looks.

According to the accompanying...

 By Chris Wright

Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon to launch singing career?

With his 40th birthday now come and gone and the joints beginning to creak, it would appear that Gianluigi Buffon is beginning to prepare for a career beyond football.

Indeed, the veteran Juventus goalkeeper shared a photo on Instagram of himself in a recording booth along with the intriguing caption: "Coming soon."

Coming soon ๐ŸŽฌ๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽง

A post shared by Gianluigi Buffon (@gianluigibuffon) on

If there's any justice in the world, then we're about to be treated to Gigi's debut pop single, which would presumably be a haunting power ballad about keeping clean sheets, etc.

Alternatively,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Francesco Totti's still got it! Check out this free-kick

He may be retired now but Francesco Totti has shown that he's still a fearsome opponent on the football pitch even if it is only at 5-a-side level.

Representing Italy at the 2018 Legends Cup in Moscow, the 41-year-old former Roma talisman was gifted a freekick against host nation Russia.

Totti unleashed a fearsome effort from just a few yards outside the box and the resulting shot very nearly broke the sound barrier as it rifled into the very top corner of the Russian goal.

As if there were...