How the world reacted to Italy missing out on World Cup finals

Giampiero Ventura and Italy must win at the San Siro

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Sweden held on to force a goalless draw in the second leg at the San Siro to defeat the Italians 1-0 on aggregate in their Russian Federation 2018 play-off.

It marked the first time the four-time World Cup winners had missed the finals since 1958.

A 1-0 win in the first leg meant Sweden won the fixture on aggregate, and Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol tweeted after the result that Ventura was no longer at the helm. Italy had 77 per cent possession and 23 shots at goal, six of them on target, with seven corners, but still couldn't put one past Sweden, who defended excellently throughout both legs of the play-off.

A awful performance by the Azzurri, devoid of inspiration, creativity or organisation ended with their exit from the World Cup at the play-off stages.

The result will nearly certainly see the end of manager Gianpiero Ventura, while the loss marks the end of superstar goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon's time in the national team. That is the only regret I have and certainly not that I am finishing my career, because time passes and it's only right.

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However, the veteran keeper said the future was bright for the Azzurri.

"Credit goes to Buffon for his sincerity through tears, his represent those of us all".

"It's just a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup".

The anxiety levels went up to an entirely different level in the second half. I'm leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself.

For Sweden, they will be making a return to the World Cup after missing out in the 2010 and 2014 editions in South Africa and Brazil respectively.

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