Italy Misses World Cup as Sweden Wins Playoff

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

The Crystal Palace boss was present as Sweden beat Italy 1-0 in World Cup play-off first leg

The 39-year-old Buffon - bidding to reach a record sixth World Cup Finals in Russian Federation - is one of the last survivors of Italy's golden generation of 2006 World Cup winners.

Sweden held Italy to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the European qualifiers. "We invite them to support us, but realize the time has come for us to show them what we've got". The first rule is not to cry over it.

"It is certainly a moment of high tension, considering what is at stake and the sense of responsibility each of us must bear", said Buffon, who will earn his 175th cap in the San Siro. I don't want to think it's the game of life but I'm convinced that, with the help of the fans, we will do it. "We have nothing to lose and we will go onto the pitch to give a great performance".

Buffon, who has a record 174 Italy caps, added: "You have to keep your head high".

Italy were in the World Cup UEFA play-offs after finishing second to 2010 world champions Spain in their Group, but a limp effort across both legs of their clash with Sweden has left the team in disarray.

The Juventus legend insisted he was not saddened by the end of his worldwide career, which peaked with the 2006 World Cup triumph, but rather the effect the result will have on Italian football. Click the right arrow above to find out... The game is set up to be a very, intense, hard-fought and entertaining encounter as both teams will be motivated to book their ticket to Russian Federation. As expected, Italy continued to dominate possession but Janne Andersson's side were able to thwart any attacks Giampiero Ventura's men attempted.

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