Despite being left out of Italy squad after Italy squad, Sebastian Giovinco still held out hope.
Hope that he would not only play again for his country but that he could even be in with a chance of representing them at next summer’s World Cup.
That was never likely to happen while Giampiero Ventura, who has taken a dim view of Giovinco’s decision to play in MLS, remained in charge but there was talk of the former Torino coach’s job being in jeopardy even if Italy had successfully navigated their World Cup play-off against Sweden.
It’s a long shot, but perhaps a different manager might have seen value in Giovinco’s goalscoring record, even in a weaker league, and set-piece expertise.
But Italy failed to score once over two legs against the Swedes and though Ventura is now gone, so, in all likelihood, is the 30-year-old Toronto FC striker’s World Cup dream.
Euro 2012 is the only major tournament Giovinco, who will be 35 by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around, has played in.
“I don’t know [what happened],” he said on Wednesday about the failure to qualify. “I wasn’t part of the team because I never played with this team, this coach, so I don’t know what happened.
“But for sure for the country, for me, [it’s] a disaster, because we don’t play a World Cup, because I don’t know if you can play again a World Cup [at his age].
“It’s not good for me and for all Italian people.”
A disaster, too, for the likes of Gianluigi Buffon and Daniele De Rossi, who see illustrious international careers end with the lowest low they have experienced in an Azzurri shirt.
Giovinco did not attempt to eulogize them in a second language but said their international retirement marks the end of an era, leaving big shoes for others to fill.
“I think there are some players who can do a good job in the national team [as their successors],” he said.
He has not closed the door on being one of them, even if not at a World Cup finals.
“I don’t know,” Giovinco said about his chances of being recalled.
“I try to do the best [I can] here and then if somebody calls me, for sure I’m happy and I go. For sure.”