What Italy will miss the World Cup?! Italy for the first time since 1958 will miss the World Cup after a 0–0 draw to Sweden in front of a home crowd at San Siro. Italy had qualified for 14 consecutive World Cups since 1962. Sweden advanced for the first time since 2006.
Italy’s legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon struggled to fight back tears but remained positive about the future as he tried to come to terms with Italy’s failure to qualify for a World Cup for the first time in 60 years.
Italy had played in every edition of the World Cup since 1962 and has won four titles (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006). Italy failed to make it out of the Group Stage in 2014. Sweden hosted the World Cup in 1958, which Italy missed.
The shocking setback marks the end of an era for the Azzurri, with the World Cup-winning trio of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Andrea Barzagli and midfielder Daniele De Rossi announcing their retirement post-game.
It would be easy to lay the blame squarely on Gian Piero Ventura. The Italy coach will naturally take the lion’s share, but the Azzurri’s problems run much deeper.
”I want to apologize to the Italian people for the result,” Ventura said. ”Not for the commitment, and the desire and everything else but for the result.”