- Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup after defeat to Sweden in their playoff
- Buffon announced his retirement after the game
- The Italian icon will always have the 2006 triumph to remember
- WATCH: Gianluigi Buffon fights tears after his Italy career ends in World Cup heartache on a night which saw the Juventus legend show more class than many Azzurri fans
For the first time since 1958, Italy will not be heading to the World Cup as they suffered defeat in their playoff qualifier against Sweden.
After falling to a 1-0 loss in the first leg in Solna, the Azzurri were unable to turn around their deficit in the second leg at the San Siro on Monday night, being held to a goalless draw.
In turn, they will not be heading to Russia next summer, and that has forced Gianluigi Buffon to announce his retirement earlier than he would have liked having previously planned to hang his gloves up after next summer’s tournament.
It was a heartbreaking way for the iconic figure to go out as he was seen breaking down in his post-match interview, but he rightly got the send off that he deserved as he continued to show his class from start to finish.
While this is undoubtedly the lowest point in his Italy career and it unfortunately had to come in his last game for his country, he will of course always have the memory of winning the World Cup in Germany in 2006, but it’s clear the impact he’s made on football fans around the world as seen below.
Buffon enjoyed a 20-year international career at senior level, making 175 appearances for Italy, while Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Daniele De Rossi also all announced their retirement with the quartet having 461 caps between them.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 13, 2017
It appears Gianluigi Buffon has played his final game for Italy. He will be much missed. A mountain of a man. A Giant of a goalkeeper. A credit to his sport.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 13, 2017
— Dangerous Attack Bet (@dangerousattack) November 13, 2017
This legend did not deserve to go out like this. Truly pain!
— Lega Serie A (@SerieAchannel) November 13, 2017
Last but not least my utmost gratitude goes to this man, who has given his life to these colours. Sadly this is how we say goodbye but what you have done for us will never be forgotten. GRAZIE PER SEMPRE GIANLUIGI BUFFON pic.twitter.com/oXM3Kscu29
— Conte (@aconte14) November 13, 2017
— ??????? (@HerrEsharif) November 13, 2017
Horrible way for Gianluigi Buffon to say goodbye but he’s had an incredible, magnificent international career. One of the greats .
— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) November 13, 2017
Goodbye to an ??@azzurri legend ?
— #WCQ (@FIFAWorldCup) November 13, 2017
Goodbye to a legend. pic.twitter.com/MoPEvUbxL3
— Goal (@goal) November 13, 2017
Thank you, Chiellini, Barzagli, De Rossi and most especially Buffon, for your service to La Nazionale. True warriors for this team.
— AzzurriFanPhil (@AzzurriFanPhil) November 14, 2017