For the first time in 60 years, Italy have failed to qualify for a FIFA World Cup. The next FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia in 2018.
Four-time world champions Italy suffered a shock when they failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with their qualifying play-off match against Sweden ending in a goalless draw at the Friends Arena in Stockholm on Monday.
Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup to be played in Russia in 2018 sent shockwaves through the country and beyond, with their veteran player Gianluigi Buffon making a tearful exit from international football.
The Italian media called their team’s failure an ‘apocalypse’, as it was way back in 1958 that the ‘Azzurri’ had failed to qualify for a World Cup event.
“I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football, because we failed at something which also means something on a social level,” said an emotional Buffon confirming his exit, according to AFP.
Buffon was not the only one to walk away post the failure; with the 36-year-old Andrea Barzagli, the 34-year-old midfielder Daniele de Rossi and Giorgio Chiellini also retiring from international football.
There were reactions from all over the world with Italy’s failure, who along with teams such as Chile, The Netherlands, Cameroon, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Ivory Coast and USA will be watching the World Cup from home.