Just minutes after Italy’s shocking World Cup qualifying elimination, manager Gian Piero Ventura revealed that he won’t return with the Azzurri.
(Although he would’ve surely be run out of the nation had he not resigned.)
While the head coach’s questionable decisions in tactics and player personnel will surely be questioned for some time between now and 2022, one of Italy’s all-time greats announced that he too would be calling a quits.
Azzurri goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has announced his retirement from the national team after the 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden.
“I’m not sorry for myself but all of Italian football,” Buffon said following Monday’s loss. “We failed at something which also means something on a social level. There’s regret at finishing like that, not because time passes.
“Those who’ve played know how hard these matches are. We weren’t able to express ourselves at our best. We lacked the composure to score. Play-offs are decided by episodes and they went against us but you can understand that when you’re at fault.”
In typical Buffon form, the classy Juventus shot-stopper relayed these words to the media when asked about who is to blame for Italy’s shortcomings.
“Blame is shared equally between everyone,” Buffon said. “There can’t be scapegoats. Win together, lose together.”
In his international career, Buffon appeared in 175 matches for the Azzurri over a 21-year span.
The veteran was a key figure for the Italians when they hoisted the World Cup in 2006 and his accolades are endless as he was often considered one of, if not, the best goalkeepers throughout his playing career.
Additionally, Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Barzagli have also announced their retirements from the Italian national side. Including Buffon, the three players were the last remaining pieces from the Azzurri team that won the 2006 World Cup.
Update: Giorgio Chiellini has also announced his international retirement.Follow @MattReedFutbol