World Cup qualifier match report Italy v Sweden 13 November 2017

Posted November 14, 2017

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.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades after a scoreless tie on Monday in Milan meant it lost its playoff to Sweden, 1-0, on aggregate.

"Not for me, but for the football movement, because we failed at something that could've been truly important for the country".

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Just 11 years after winning the World Cup is Italian Football now in the middle of a crisis period?

It would be easy to lay the blame squarely on Gian Piero Ventura.

The 39-year-old Buffon - bidding to reach a record sixth World Cup Finals in Russian Federation - is one of the last survivors of Italy's golden generation of 2006 World Cup winners.

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With Sweden's qualification, 29 teams at the World Cup are now confirmed, with the winners of Ireland/Denmark, Australia/Honduras and Peru/New Zealand to be the final three into the tournament, with those games played on Wednesday morning, Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, respectively.

While Ventura's predecessor Antonio Conte guided Italy to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 - beating Belgium and Spain along the way before going out on penalties to Germany - many felt that the team had overachieved and that the task facing Ventura would be a challenge.

But the Azzurri struggled to carve out clear chances against a solid Sweden side, and really tested goalkeeper Robin Olsen only once. We know how to get back up again as we've always done. That is the only regret I have and certainly not that I am finishing my career, because time passes and it's only right. I don't want to think it's the game of life but I'm convinced that, with the help of the fans, we will do it.

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