SAN FRANCISCO, November 14, (THEWILL) – Italy will miss out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years as Sweden secured a precious goalless draw on Monday night, in San Siro, that punched their ticket to Russia thanks to a 1-0 aggregate win.
Italy will not be going to Russia and this is how Gianluigi Buffon’s international career will end.
Although, Italy bossed possession in the first 45 minutes of the match, it had nothing to show for it, not even a shot on target.
Just 11 years after winning the World Cup, Italian Football is now in the middle of a crisis period.
Italy last failed to qualify for WC in 1958. Sweden have not qualified since 2006.
There were loud boos on the whistle but it quickly faded away as Italy’s player drop to the turf, some in tears.
In contrast, Sweden’s players run in all directions in celebration, some unsure of exactly what to do, or where to go.
in the post match interview Gigi Buffon said: “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.
“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.”