Misfiring Italy fail to reach World Cup as Sweden go through

Sweden and Italy gear up for World Cup playoff clash

Buffon calls on Italy to be calm and for fans to carry team

The Azzurri missed out on a place at the World Cup for the first time since 1958 as a 0-0 draw at San Siro on Monday confirmed a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden.

Italy, a four-time World Cup champion, had a penalty appeal of its own waved off by the referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, when Marco Parolo was tripped from behind by Ludwig Augsustinsson. It was the third-longest active streak behind Brazil (20) and Germany (16). "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.

"It is really important that we do not end up in a defensive position where we have to defend our goal for 90 minutes, because they are so skilled that they will hurt as sooner or later".

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In the first leg played on Saturday, Ireland forced Denmark to a 0-0 draw.

The first is that the four-time world champions fail to qualify for Russian Federation 2018 and a curtain falls on the global careers of half the team, including Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and the icon that is Gianluigi Buffon. I'm leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself. Emil Forsberg proved to be the Nordic team's best player throughout the first round of the qualifiers and was the clear standout in the first leg.

Gianluigi Buffon wants to lead Italy to the World Cup next summer (Picture: Getty)When is Italy vs Sweden?

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

However, the latest reports suggest that he is now being courted by two national teams who would largely benefit from his arrival.

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