Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Italy Fails To Qualify For 2018 World Cup After Draw With Sweden

The Azzurri were unable to find a breakthrough at the San Siro in Milan and will now miss their first World Cup since 1958.
Italy has missed out on qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after being held to a 0-0 draw by Sweden in their do-or-die World Cup qualifier at the San Siro in Milan on Monday.

After suffering a shock 1-0 loss in the first leg in Sweden, the men in blue couldn’t find the back of the net last night no matter how hard they tried.

The scoreless draw meant Sweden won 1-0 on aggregate and the Azzurri will now be watching the 2018 World Cup from home.

 Before the match the prospect of Italy missing out on football’s showpiece event was described as the “apocalypse”, and that apocalypse has now arrived.
Gianluigi Buffon retired from international football following Italy's failure to reach the 2018 World Cup

“I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football. We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There’s regret at finishing like that, not because time passes,” Italy and Juventus goalkeeper and captain Ginaluigi Buffon said.

“There is certainly a future for Italian football, as we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet. 

“I leave a squad of talent that will have their say, including Gigio Donnarumma and Mattia Perin. I want to give a hug to Chiello, Barza, Leo and Lele, who I had almost 10 years alongside. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn’t enough, I hope that we gave them something.

“In football you win as a group, you lose as a group, you divide the credit and the blame. The coach is part of this entire group.”
Buffon waves to the crowd after playing his final ever game for Italy on Monday night

This is a crushing blow for a country that has won football’s most prestigious tournament (World Cup) four times.

The last major competitions Italy missed were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships.

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