28 days ago
BUFFON QUITS AFTER ITALY'S WC QUALIFICATION FAILURE
Gianluigi Buffon burst into tears after failing to qualify for next years World Cup.  ~ Getty Images

A TEARFUL Gianluigi Buffon quit international football as four-time champions Italy sensationally missed out on their first World Cup finals in 60 years after a playoff defeat to Sweden on Monday. 

Coach Gian Piero Ventura also said he would consider his future after the Azzuri drew 0-0 in the second leg of their tie with Sweden, who qualified 1-0 on aggregate. 

Italian press called it an "apocalypse" for the team, who last failed to qualify for the 1958 World Cup and have played every other edition apart from the inaugural tournament in 1930.

"I'm not sorry for myself but all of Italian football, because we failed at something which also means something on a social level," said an emotional Buffon as he confirmed his retirement. 

The 39-year-old goalkeeper, who lifted the 2006 World Cup in Germany, who had been hoping to compete in a record sixth World Cup. 

Buffon, who has 175 international caps, had already announced that the World Cup finals in Russia would be his last, unfortunately the Azzuri ended up not qualifying for the World Cup. -AFP


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