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By Chineze Ogugua

Italy captain Gigi Buffon has announced his retirement from international football after Italy’s 0-0 draw with Sweden meant they will not be going to the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Gigi Buffon

Buffon who was in tears, said after the match, “It’s a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for a World Cup. It’s disappointing.

“Not for me, but for the football movement, because we failed something that could’ve been truly important for the country. That is the only regret I have and certainly not that I am finishing my career, because time passes and it’s only right.

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

“Perhaps we didn’t express the best football that we could, that is the regret. We lacked the energy and sharpness to score a goal, but at the end of the day Sweden played in much the same way as the first leg. This play-off was decided by incidents, which went well for them and badly for us.

“When incidents go badly for you, it’s probably your own fault too and if it goes well, you earned your luck.

“I leave a Nazionale of talent that will have their say, including Gigio Donnarumma and Mattia Perin. I want to give a hug to my 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.”

The 39-year-old goalkeeper missed out on becoming the first Italian player to appear in six World Cups as they found it difficult to overturn a 1-0 first leg defeat.

 

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