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‘Sorry’ Buffon calls time on international career as Italy boss set to learn fate

End game: Buffon reacts after the goalless draw against Sweden

ITALY boss Giampiero Ventura is set to learn his fate as Italy boss in the next 24 hours after the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years.

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Carlo Tavecchio has called a meeting to discuss the country’s failure to qualify for next year’s tournament in Russia.

It is the first time since 1958 an Italian team has not qualified for a World Cup and the fallout has reverberated around the game, with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport hailing the arrival of the ‘apocalypse’.

Gianluigi Buffon was one of several star names to call time on their international careers after Monday’s goalless draw with Sweden in Milan, bringing the curtain down on his 175-cap stint.

Despite the veteran keeper managing to keep a clean sheet, his team mates were unable to score the goals required to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.

Long walk back: Defender Leonardo Bonucci

After the match a tearful Buffon, who had already decided to hang up his gloves after Russia 2018, said ‘I’m not sorry for myself but all of the Italian football movement.

‘We failed with our aim which could have also been really important on a social level. This is the only regret that I have, even if my last competitive game coincides with failure to qualify for the World Cup.’

Midfielder De Rossi, 34, who has also called time on his international career, added: ‘It’s a black moment for Italian football and a really dark one for us players who were a part of the past two years.’

Ventura, who is under contract until 2020, apologised after the match but the 69-year-old stopped short of resigning.

He said: ‘There’s an infinite number of things to evaluate, we’ll speak with the Federation, we’ll evaluate the situation.’