Misfiring Italy fail to reach World Cup for first time since 1958

Misfiring Italy fail to reach World Cup for first time since 1958

Ibrahimovic has not appeared for Sweden since their group-stage exit at Euro 2016, and played no part in their successful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Sweden, who booked a place at next year's tournament in Russian Federation with a 1-0 aggregate win on Monday. We failed at something which also means something on a social level.

Playing in front of 70,000 fans, Italy were the dominant side, but they could not overturn Sweden's first-leg advantage.

"What I wanted to say was that this was the demonstration that our collective acted like this during the whole length of the play-offs".

But Ventura made no announcement about his position despite failing to lead the 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 winners to their 19th World Cup.

"Do you feel like coming on?" he asked.

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Another Rome resident Enrico Doddi summed up the national disappointment, saying: "You can not have a good World Cup without Italy".

His gallops upfield for two injury-time corners on Monday are images that will be remembered, along with his tears and his manner of belting out the Italian national anthem, eyes closed and crushing the shoulders of his neighbour. After the match, he said: "I have not resigned because I haven't spoken to the president yet".

He became a goalkeeper at only 12 years old, having started off as an offensive midfielder, and approaching 40 years, Buffon remains one of the best in the world in his position.

He made it all about himself.

The Italy players, who along with their 69-year-old coach Gian Piero Ventura, are likely to face long inquests, collapsed onto the pitch in despair at the final whistle and even veterans such as Giorgio Chiellini were inconsolable. "We lost it 15 years ago when thanks to incredible cashing in by those in the football world, Italy brought in flops from every area of the world to unfairly steal places from our lads...", Cannavaro wrote on Instagram.

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