Buffon bids teary farewell as misfiring Italy fail to reach World Cup in 60 years

2017-11-14 08:03

Buffon bids teary farewell as misfiring Italy fail to reach World Cup in 60 years

Swedish players celebrate after their 2018 World Cup qualification match against Italy in San Siro, Milan, Italy, Nov 13, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

The defeat brought the curtain down on the remarkable international career of 39-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 175th appearance for his country.

"It is upsetting that my last match decided we didn't qualify for the World Cup," he said, wiping away tears.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Not for me, though, but for (Italy)," Buffon said. "I'm sorry that we failed at something that could have also been important on a social level. That's the only regret I have.

"We didn't leave anything out on the pitch." If Italy had qualified, Buffon, who will turn 40 in January, would have become the first player to travel to six World Cups.

Sweden coach Jan Andersson admitted that his side had to cling on against technically superior opponents.

"We had no weapons left. We just had to sit there and hope that we could hang on," he said. "We couldn't do it in any other way, they are so skilful."

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