“Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel.”

Gay Talese’s wonderfully whimsical turn of phrase from “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” his epic profile of the legendary crooner and movie star published in the April 1966 issue of Esquire magazine, is the first thing I thought about when the final whistle blew at Milan’s San Siro on Monday night.

A 0-0 draw between Italy and Sweden in the second leg meant the Azzurri not only lost the aggregate series, but also failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 when, coincidentally enough, the Swedes hosted the tournament.

A World Cup without Italy is unimaginable – it is, to borrow Talese’s line, Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel. Hyperbole? Not at all.

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca

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