Sweden qualify as Italy miss out on FIFA World Cup

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said the national team had failed the country by not qualifying for the World Cup following their 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden in the play-off.

Corriere also claims that Luka Modric could be a key negotiator in this situation: the midfielder, who played under Ancelotti at Real Madrid, could pull some strings to convince him to opt for Croatia instead of Italy. It was the third-longest active streak behind Brazil (20) and Germany (16).

The four-time champions had been present at every World Cup since 1958 - and Buffon himself since 1998 - and the 39-year-old's retirement from global football was made prematurely on Monday night. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something.

"The first-leg performance shows that we are perfectly capable of overturning the 1-0 result". As expected, Italy continued to dominate possession but Janne Andersson's side were able to thwart any attacks Giampiero Ventura's men attempted.

Marco Verratti is suspended for Monday's game with Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in a bruising first leg against Sweden in Stockholm.

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The defeat brought the curtain down on the remarkable global career of 39-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was making his 175th appearance for his country.

"I expect a full San Siro to carry this team through".

"We know we've lost, but we have another 90 minutes to overcome this complicated situation".

He added: "We want to send Italians a message not with words, but with action on the pitch".

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