END OF AN ERA? Italy fail to qualify for Russia 2018, missing the WC for the first time in 60 years

Four-time world champions Italy have failed to qualify for the football World Cup for the first time in 60 years after drawing 0-0 against Sweden in Milan.

A solid Sweden side held firm at the San Siro stadium on Monday night to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win in a hard-fought play-off.

Italy, a football-crazy country, has taken part in every World Cup since failing to qualify for the sport’s most prestigious event in 1958.

The last major competitions it missed were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships.

Having successfully defended Jakob Johansson’s winner from the home leg in Stockholm, Sweden are now set to take part in their 12th World Cup.

Unsuprusingly, Monday night’s match became the top trending topic on Twitter in Italy, with

Fighting back tears, Italian goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from international football after the match.

 

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