Italy fails to qualify for 2018 World Cup

Posted November 14, 2017

Italy are out of the World Cup after tonight's 0-0 draw with Sweden.

An El Shaarawy shot was kept out by Olsen and Parolo's header whent wide, then Buffon came up for a corner in a final desperate gamble as Italy fell short of reaching the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

The first one is Italy, whose recent struggles to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which culminated in Friday night's 1-0 defeat to Sweden, may lead to an imminent sacking of current manager Giampiero Ventura.

Buffon ends his Italy career having compiled 175 caps over two decades representing his country, peaking with the 2006 World Cup triumph in Germany.

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Italy have failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 after they were held to a goalless home draw by Sweden in the second leg of their playoff.

But former Italy global Andrea Pirlo believes it is unsafe for the four-time World Cup winners to rely too heavily on the atmosphere generated by 65,000 frenetic fans in the San Siro.

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The next chance Italy will have to qualify for a World Cup comes in 2022 when the event takes place in Qatar.

Meanwhile, Sweden is absolutely cheering.

Ibrahimovic is yet to return from the knee injury he suffered for United last April. The first rule is not to cry over it.

Sweden had two strong shouts for handball rejected in the first half in the San Siro, but television replays suggested that both should have been given.

This will be only the second World Cup missed by Italy.

Hopefully, that sequence of results will not be a sign of things to come in Russian Federation next summer, but there is a real danger of the World Cup becoming a tournament where defences come out on top. "There are another 90 minutes and we want to make the most of it". Federation Internationale de Football Association could stage the playoffs in one country over a long weekend, with all ties settled on the day.