Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon 'confirms retirement from global football'

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

The first one is Italy, whose recent struggles to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, which culminated in Friday night's 1-0 defeat to Sweden, may lead to an imminent sacking of current manager Giampiero Ventura.

For the first time since 1958, the FIFA World Cup will not feature Italy.

"I'm sorry - and not just for me, but for everybody involved", Buffon told RAI. We failed at something which also means something on a social level.

Italy, a four-time World Cup champion, had a penalty appeal of its own waved off by the referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, when Marco Parolo was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson.

What has gone wrong for Italy as they gear up for do-or-die clash with Sweden?

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"We knew it was going to be a tough game and in the end, it was decided on an incident".

It's make or break for the Azzurri tonight as they go into the pivotal qualifier 1-0 down against the Swedes.

However, Buffon refused to pin that blame exclusively on coach Gian Piero Ventura, who refused to speak to RAI following the final whistle and is now expected to either resign or be sacked. "He's got as much blame as all of us have". Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, but I hope at least we can take some benefit out of this as an example. As expected, Italy continued to dominate possession but Janne Andersson's side were able to thwart any attacks Giampiero Ventura's men attempted. "Hugs to everyone, especially those I've shared this wonderful journey with". We weren't able to express ourselves at our best.

The last time Sweden qualified for the finals of the World Cup was in 2006, when the tournament was hosted in Germany.

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