Buffon 'sorry for Italy' after World Cup failure

2017-11-14 11:15
Gianluigi Buffon (Getty)

Milan - Veteran Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon expressed his sorrow as the four-time champions failed to qualify for the 2018 Soccer World Cup for the first time since 1958 following their 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat by Sweden.

Italy were held to a 0-0 draw in front of 74 000 fans at the San Siro on Monday, as they were unable to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Stockholm.

"I'm not sorry for myself but all of Italian football," said the 39-year-old Buffon, who confirmed his international retirement after missing out on the chance to appear at a record sixth World Cup.

"We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There's regret at finishing like that, not because time passes."

He added: "Those who've played know how hard these matches are. We weren't able to express ourselves at our best. We lacked the composure to score."

But the 2006 World Cup winner insisted the national team would rise again despite their absence from next year's tournament in Russia - just the third edition without the Azzurri, after 1930 and 1958.

"There is certainly a future for Italian football, as we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet," said Buffon.

"I leave a squad of talent that will have their say, including (goalkeepers) Gigi Donnarumma and Mattia Perin. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something.

"In football you win as a group, you lose as a group, you divide the credit and the blame. The coach is part of this entire group."

Read more on:    swc 2018  |  gianluigi buffon

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season has wrapped up. For all the season highlights - and lowlights - be sure to visit Sport24!

Latest blogs

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.