Sweden stun Italy to book World Cup return

Giampiero Ventura and Italy must win at the San Siro

Italy, who are now ranked 15th in the world, had an ordinary qualification campaign, finishing second in their group.

Sweden's goalkeeper Robin Olsen only had one save throughout the match and will surely be worked more in this second leg.

The 39-year-old, who made his Italy debut in October 1997, kept a clean sheet against Sweden at San Siro but his outfield team-mates failed to score the goals that could have overturned the Scandinavians' 1-0 advantage in the two-legged European play-off, as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958. I thank the lads who were with us and, although it wasn't enough, I hope that we gave them something. "That's why I keep talking about courage, about taking the initiative and go for it when we have the chance", said Sweden coach Janne Andersson. Gian Piero Ventura will surely need to make some modifications to his lineup after such a poor performance in Stockholm.

Veteran goalkeeper Gigi Buffon has retired from global football after Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958, declaring: "I am sorry for all of Italian football".

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"I leave behind a national team who have got quality and will have people talking about them, from Gigio Donnarumma to [Mattia] Perin - I'm sure they will ensure I am not missed". Italy are meanwhile superstars having won the competition four times - 1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006 - and lost two finals in 1970 and 1994.

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

"I expect a full San Siro to carry this team through".

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