Home Football Twitter Reacts As Italy Fail To Qualify For The World Cup And Buffon Retires

Twitter Reacts As Italy Fail To Qualify For The World Cup And Buffon Retires

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 13: An emotional Gianluigi Buffon of Italy at full time during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg between Italy and Sweden at San Siro Stadium on November 13, 2017 in Milan, . (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Italy and Sweden played to a goalless draw in the second leg of their World Cup playoff at the San Siro in Milan tonight, a result which means that the Azzurri have failed to qualify for the tournament’s finals for the first time since 1958.

Gian Piero Ventura’s men went into the game a goal down thanks to a strike from Jakob Johansson in the 61st minute of the first leg in Stockholm on Friday and though they thoroughly dominated throughout the 98 minutes or so of play, they couldn’t overcome that slightest of deficits.

Italy had 75% of the possession in the first half and produced eleven shots on goal, while the visitors could only conjure a single effort(via The Guardian). Robin Olsen was kept on his toes and made several fine saves in that opening period. Italy had two penalty shouts denied, but Sweden, perhaps, had two even ​more solid claims shot down, as Darmian seemed to handle the ball in the area in the opening quarter and Barzagli followed suit at the half-hour mark.

The second half was also all Italy and Olsen was once again called to action on numerous occasions, including in the embers of ordinary time when he denied El Shaarawy from close range.

Gianluigi Buffon made several trips up the pitch for injury-time corner kicks, but the great keeper couldn’t produce one last moment of heroism to drag his side to the finals. After the game, an emotional Buffon apologized to his countrymen for the side’s failure and announced his international retirement.

Here is a sample of how the football world reacted to the historically significant Italian exit, Buffon’s teary farewell and Ventura’s subsequent resignation.


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