Italy

Chelsea midfielder has Mason Mount has offered teammate Jorginho support following Italy’s shock exit out of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

The Azzurri suffered a shock 1-0 loss to North Macedonia in the World Cup play-off match on Thursday night, meaning they will miss the tournament for the second time in a row.

Jorginho missed the target from a spot-kick in the final minute of Italy’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland in November, and the result has come to haunt them.

Speaking after England’s 2-1 win over Switzerland, Mount said he reached out to his teammate following the disappointment.

“I always mention that Jorgi is the joker in the group,” Mount said. “But when it comes to big games against us, there is nothing but respect between us all.

“When you’re at that level and you’re playing in finals, football is on the line and there is passion that goes into the game.

“The hunger to win for your country means so much, so there would never be a joke about it afterwards. 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 (Euro 2020) final, it was a massive amount of work,” he added.

“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”.’

The pair will reconvene at Cobham towards the end of the week, ahead of Chelsea’s match with Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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