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Italy Misses World Cup as Sweden Wins Playoff

14 November, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Veteran goalkeeper Gigi Buffon has retired from global football after Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958, declaring: "I am sorry for all of Italian football".

Sweden did not shine at all in the first leg but did manage to get the favorable 1-0 win with a goal by Jakob Johansson off the bench.

Italy's legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon struggled to fight back tears but remained positive about the future as he tried to come to terms with Italy's failure to qualify for a World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

The result will nearly certainly see the end of manager Gianpiero Ventura, while the loss marks the end of superstar goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's time in the national team.

Italy, a four-time World Cup champion, had a penalty appeal of its own waved off by the referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, when Marco Parolo was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson. "We've failed something which could have been big also on a social level and this is my only disappointment. I'm fully aware that this game is fundamental for us, but it's the same scenario as when I first signed to lead the national side", he continued.

Despite the embarrassment of a botched campaign, Buffon refused to lay the blame on Ventura. "There are another 90 minutes and we want to make the most of it". "Hugs to everyone, especially those I've shared this wonderful journey with".

After joining Italy as an unused substitute at the 1998 World Cup, Buffon made his World Cup debut in 2002, then helped Italy lift the trophy at Germany 2006.

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