Sweden qualify as Italy miss out on FIFA World Cup

Reuters

Reuters

Italy dominated possession despite the defeat and will be confident of overturning the deficit, but it will undoubtedly be a nervy night at the San Siro.

The first is that the four-time world champions fail to qualify for Russian Federation 2018 and a curtain falls on the worldwide careers of half the team, including Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and the icon that is Gianluigi Buffon.

Gianluigi Buffon fought back tears as he confirmed his retirement from global football following Italy's shock failure to qualify for Russian Federation 2018.

"It's just a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup".

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The Juventus legend insisted he was not saddened by the end of his global career, which peaked with the 2006 World Cup triumph, but rather the effect the result will have on Italian football.

A clearly emotional 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.

"We have pride, strength and we're stubborn".

It promises to be a superb match and there will be plenty of neutrals supporting a star-filled Italy squad, hoping they don't fail to qualify for a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

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"I leave a squad of talent that will have their say, including Gigio Donnarumma and Mattia Perin".

"We know we've lost, but we have another 90 minutes to overcome this complicated situation".

"I want to give a big hug to everybody who has always supported me, like Chiello [Giorgio Chiellini], Barza [Andrea Barzagli], Leo [Bonucci], Lele [Gabriele Oriali, team manager] and everybody who's shared these past 10 years with me".

"In football you win as a group, you lose as a group, you divide the credit and the blame".

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