When Carlo Tavecchio, the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), announced the appointment of Giampiero Ventura as Antonio Conte's successor he promised they would make history together.
A little over a year later, they have done just that but for all the wrong reasons. For the first time since 1958, four-time champions Italy will not appear at the World Cup.
Tavecchio himself said failing to qualify would be like the Apocalypse. Well, it's Apocalypse Now even if Italy's elimination in the play-offs to Sweden does not compare with losing to North Korea in 1966.
The past four days feature among the darkest ever experienced by the Azzurri. Up there with Giorgio Chinaglia swearing down the camera as Italy were knocked out of the World Cup in 1974, and other group stage eliminations at the hands of New Zealand in 2010 and Costa Rica four years ago.