Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon 'confirms retirement from global football'


The makeup of next year's World Cup finals may have looked a lot different had Federation Internationale de Football Association been bold enough to implement the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system for the qualifiers for Russia 2018.

But former Italy worldwide Andrea Pirlo believes it is unsafe for the four-time World Cup winners to rely too heavily on the atmosphere generated by 65,000 frenetic fans in the San Siro.

Italy will miss out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years as Sweden secured a precious goalless draw that punched their ticket to Russian Federation thanks to a 1-0 aggregate win.

"I've already faced similar situations in my career, sometimes I've succeeded, some other times I've failed".

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

"All or nothing", had screamed the front page of the Gazzetta dello Sport, which carried a picture of Italy's beleaguered coach, Gian Piero Ventura, looking to the heavens.

More news: Arsenal identify Wilfried Zaha as £35million replacement for contract rebel Alexis Sanchez

Sweden were rated nearly no chance of progressing to the finals, but the 25th-ranked team progressed to the play-off on goal difference, finishing second in their group ahead of the Netherlands and four points behind France.

Gianluigi Buffon appears to have confirmed that his Italy career is over following the nation's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

And now we have the catalogue of penalty appeals during this Italy-Sweden clash, all of which were overruled by Lahoz.

To avoid maintaining their remarkable sequence of World Cup appearances, they face the game against Sweden amid an atmosphere of what 'keeper Buffon has described as "high tension". I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something. "I'm fully aware that this game is fundamental for us, but it's the same scenario as when I first signed to lead the national side", he continued. We know how to get back up again as we've always done. "It would be a great satisfaction to qualify for the World Cup".

They played to a goalless draw in San Siro in the second leg. Sweden advanced to its first World Cup since 2006.