Italy misses on World Cup qualification


Ventura now remains in post but is widely expected to get the boot after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russian Federation. The fact was that the elder members of the squad knew that it was time for them to be replaced by a new generation, confirmed by a speight of worldwide retirements after the match.

"Seeing Buffon cry saddened me", the 1982 World Cup victor, who also represented Juve with distinction for over a decade, told Goal .

Napoli legend Diego Maradona is sorry seeing Italy out of the World Cup. The tournament was held in Sweden.

At the other end, Sweden keeper Olsen saved well from midfielders Jorginho and Alessandro Florenzi, who also clipped an acrobatic volley narrowly wide.

So Gianluigi Donnarumma, AC Milan's 18-year-old starter, will take over from Buffon in Italy's goal without ever having travelled to a major tournament.

Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman were both 20 when they helped France reach the final of last year's European Championship and 18-year-old Kylian Mbappe and 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele are also now key members of Didier Deschamps' squad.

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"Italian football's year zero was five or six years ago but few realized it", Italy's under-21 coach Luigi Di Biagio said.

As it stands, a total of 30 teams around the world have guaranteed their participation at next year's World Cup, as 2 teams are left to complete the lineup.

Buffon, 39, was not the only Italy veteran to quit the national team following Monday's game, with his Juventus team-mate Andrea Barzagli and Roma stalwart Daniele De Rossi following suit.

Italy also failed to qualify for Euro 1984 despite being the then world champion, after two qualifying defeats to Sweden - including a 3-0 loss in Naples.

The former Torino coach said he would first talk to the Italian federation president before making a decision on his future.