Veteran goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon has announced his retirement from international football, after Italy failed to qualify for World Cup.
The Juventus goalkeeper already planned to retire from the Italy squad, after the World Cup, but the Azzurri could not overcome Sweden over two legs.
It will be the first time that Italy will miss out on the World Cup since 1958 and Buffon is saddened by how Italian football will be affected.
“It’s disappointing,” Buffon told Rai Sport while fighting back tears.
“Not for me, but for the football movement, because we failed at something that could’ve been truly important for the country. That is the only regret I have and certainly not that I am finishing my career, because time passes and it’s only right.
“It’s just a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup. [But] 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.
“I’m leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself.”
Buffon ends his Italy career having compiled 175 caps over two decades, peaking with the 2006 World Cup triumph in Germany. The 39-year-old has represented Italy at a record-tying five World Cups, as well as four European Championships and two Confederations Cups.