Italy's Exit From World Cup Qualification Sees The End For Its Veterans

Report Antonio Conte targeted to revive Italian football

Germany's chief coach Joachim Loew heaped praise on Sweden and said they deserve to be congratulated for defending well and giving their 100 per cent against Italy in the 2018 football World Cup qualifying playoff.

And the last time Italy failed to qualify for a major tournament, was the 1992 European Championship.

"We can't influence the draw", the German coach was quoted as saying by Fox Sports.

He said: "I don't know if Italy will go again with Chiellini, the team will start again with a lot of guys born in the 1990s. I saw the game, they defended well and gave everything", Loew added. The U.S. team also didn't qualify for the first time since 1986.

Italy dominated possession but struggled to create enough clear-cut chances, as Sweden secured a first appearance at the finals since 2006 courtesy of Jakob Johansson's first-leg strike in Stockholm.

"I am just very, very disappointed with the way this national team has been managed".

Buffon, Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli have already retired from global duty in the wake of the disaster, and it is the Juventus goalkeeper's anguish that most stuck with Zoff.

At the other end, Sweden keeper Olsen saved well from midfielders Jorginho and Alessandro Florenzi, who also clipped an acrobatic volley narrowly wide.

Low was full of praise for the 34-year-old Roma midfielder for that moment.

"I'm not sorry for myself but all of Italian football, because we failed at something which also means something on a social level", said an emotional Buffon as he confirmed his retirement. In terms of the coach I think Mourinho is the right one.

It remained unclear whether these games to be held ahead of the June 14 - July 15 World Cup in Russian Federation would be a series of friendlies, possibly also against teams from the Americas that are preparing for the World Cup, or a mini-tournament.

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