MILAN, Nov 14: Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon confirmed he was ending his international career after the four-time champions failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
An emotional Gianluigi Buffon of Italy at full time waves to the fans after the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier play-off second leg against Sweden at the San Siro in Milan.
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 who lifted the 2006 World Cup on Monday, 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.” – AFP