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Gianluigi Buffon Ends International Career After Italy Fail to Qualify for World Cup

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon confirmed on Monday he was ending his international career after the four-time champions failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

AFP

Updated:November 14, 2017, 8:38 AM IST
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Gianluigi Buffon Ends International Career After Italy Fail to Qualify for World Cup
Gianluigi Buffon retired on Monday after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. (Reuters)
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Milan: Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon confirmed on Monday he was ending his international career after the four-time champions failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

Buffon, 39, played his 175th and final game for Italy as they were beaten 1-0 on aggregate in a play-off by Sweden after a 0-0 second-leg draw at the San Siro, bringing an end to a 20-year international career that included winning the 2006 World Cup.

"I'm not sorry for myself but all of Italian football," Buffon told Italian broadcaster Rai.

"We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There's regret at finishing like that, not because time passes."

Andrea Barzagli and 34-year-old midfielder Daniele de Rossi, the other two members of Italy's squad on Monday who lifted the 2006 World Cup, also retired from internationals in the aftermath of the shock defeat.

"It's the biggest disappointment of my life from a sporting point of view... I can't find my words," said 36-year-old defender Barzagli.

Midfielder De Rossi, who won 117 caps, said: "To think that I took off this jersey for the last time, it hurts. After the match, there was a funeral-like atmosphere."

Buffon made his debut for the Azzurri as a 19-year-old in a 1998 World Cup play-off victory over Russia, but his last match saw him fail in his bid to become the first man to play in six World Cups.

The Juventus captain, who has already said he will likely retire from all football at the end of this season, said Italy fans still have plenty to look forward to, with AC Milan's 18-year-old keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma set to take the international number one shirt.

"There is certainly a future for Italian football, as we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet," he added.

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

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Baidurjo Bhose
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