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Italian football suffered a major blow as they lost 1-0 aggregate against Sweden in their World Cup qualification play-offs. It also ends their veterans last hope to say goodbye to their international football after lifting the World Cup. Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele de Rossi and Andrea Barzagli calls off a day after world Cup exit.

Sweden were leading 1-0 in play-off from their first leg match played at Friends Arena in Stockholm, and Italy needed a San Siro victory in second leg. But Azzurri ended playing a 0-0 draw at San Siro and in result suffered FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 elimination.

Italy suffered their first sitting out from FIFA World Cup since 1958. The four time World Cup champions reputation suffered a major blow as they become the second high profile European nation who won’t be part of Russia 2018. Netherlands were already on the list including Gareth Bale’s Wales, and Italian loss makes the Russia 2018 less glossy.

We don’t know what future holds and how Russia 2018 tournament will turn up, but it’s a huge loss for Italian football and their legendary figures retirement statements says it all. Gigi Buffon at the age of 39 still fascinating the world with his gloves ends his international career on a sad note. He 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 a regret at finishing like that, not because time passes.”

Chiellini officially hasn’t put a statement but Sportsnet’s Arash Madani official twitter account writes, “Spoke with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, who said he doesn’t want to make an emotional decision tonight but that this loss to Sweden was likely his last match playing for the Azzuri. Nearly 100 career caps.”

Barzagli also told Rai Sports, “In football terms, it’s the biggest disappointment of my life. The italy side gives you unique sensations. It gives you goosebumps, creates freindship between all the Italy fans, they are finally united. It’s a real shame to end like this. … i don’t know what we missed, all we know is we’re out of World Cup. It is a unique disappointment and leaving this group of lads  is painful.”

AS Roma official twitter English account writes as Daniele de Rossi announced his retirement from international football. He said, “My adventure here ends. it’s sad to think this was the last time i’ll wear these colours. But i couldn’t be more proud of the journey, everyone i’ve played alongside.”

A great era of Italian football ends with a disappointment. These legends deserved a more fulfilling retirement, but in the end they suffered a blow which was difficult to chew in.


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