Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon has bowed out of international football with the Azzuriis on a low following the team’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia.
The Juventus shot stopper had previously revealed that he would retire from the Italian national team after Russia 2018 however the team’s playoff defeat to Sweden has ensured that the retirement is coming seven months earlier.
Italy could not overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg as they played out a goalless draw with the Swedes at the San Siro to send the Scandinavian country through to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Speaking after the game at the San Siro, an emotional Buffon said: “I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football. We failed at something which also means something on a social level.
“There’s regret at finishing like that, not because time passes.” he added.
The 175-cap team captain further said: “We have pride, strength and we’re stubborn. We know how to get back up again as we’ve always done. I’m leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself.
“Hugs to everyone, especially those I’ve shared this wonderful journey with.” he concluded.