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>> Despondent fans in Milan on Monday night as Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 soccer World Cup.>> It's disgusting, the World Cup can't exist without Italy. The four-time champions only managed a 0-0 draw against a belligerent but technically inferior Sweden. And that finished not only the Azzurri's World Cup ambitions, but will also mark the tear jerking end to the international careers of several of Italy's biggest stars.
Gianluigi Buffon, Italy's veteran goalkeeper, who debuted for his country 20 years ago, is one of those to depart. Also retiring from the international scene is midfielder Daniele De Rossi, and defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli are expected to follow suit. But not going anywhere, for the time being at least, is Italian coach Gian Piero Ventura, who said he was waiting to speak to Italy's Football Federation.
> No, I haven't resigned because I haven't even spoken to the president yet. I absolutely apologize for the result, but not for the effort we put in, or in our desire to win, and all the rest. But for the result, absolutely yes, and that's the main thing that counts, I know.
>> Italy lost 1-0 to Sweden in the first leg of the playoff last week meaning they needed a victory from Monday night's match. Despite controlling much of the game, poor finishing and final passes meant goals eluded them. Italy have only ever failed to qualify for the tournament once before, and that was 60 years ago.