One of international football's greatest goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon bid farewell to international football on a low notes as his national team and four time World Champions Italy sensationally missed out on their first World Cup finals in 60 years after a playoff defeat to Sweden on Monday.
The 39-year-old goalkeeper, who had a stellar soccer career with the Azzurri's lifting the 2006 World Cup, who had been hoping to compete in a record sixth World Cup. Buffon, who donned the national jersey 175 times, had already announced that the World Cup finals in Russia would be his last.
Coach Gian Piero Ventura also said he would consider his future after the Azzuri drew 0-0 in the second leg of their tie with Sweden, who qualified 1-0 on aggregate. Italian press called it an "apocalypse" for the team, who last failed to qualify for the 1958 World Cup and have played every other edition apart from the inaugural tournament in 1930.
"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 as he confirmed his retirement.
But Ventura made no announcement about his position despite failing to lead the 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 winners to their 19th World Cup.The former Torino coach said he would first talk to the Italian federation president before making a decision on his future.