Gianluigi Buffon retires as Italy lose to Sweden in World Cup play-off

Gianluigi Buffon

A tearful Gianluigi Buffon said he was "sorry for all of Italian football" as he announced his international retirement after defeat by Sweden.

Italy were held to a 0-0 draw in Milan and failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Buffon, 39, said: "It's a shame my last official game coincided with the failure to qualify for the World Cup.

"Blame is shared equally between everyone. There can't be scapegoats. Win together, lose together."

The Juventus goalkeeper won 175 caps for his country - winning the World Cup in 2006 - and believes the future could still be bright for the four-time world champions.

"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," he said.

Italy manager Giampiero Ventura - under contract until 2020 - did not speak to Italian television after the defeat, while Buffon's retirement may not be the last.

Italian media are reporting that several other squad members including Daniele de Rossi and Andrea Barzagli will also call time on their international careers.

More to follow.

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