Tearful farewell for World Cup legend

Croak

  • Published in Sports
  • Read 9080 times
Tearful farewell for World Cup legend

Authors: Ecroaker.com Boosters. Pitch your Idea

  • 2006 World Cup winner Gianluigi Buffon to farewell international stage
  • Italy suffered 1-0 aggregate defeat against Sweden in play-off
  • The recently named The Best FIFA Goalkeeper is Italy’s most capped player

FIFA World Cup™-winner Gianluigi Buffon was in touching of history but in the end his Italy side fell just short of winning a ticket to Russia 2018, with defeat against Sweden bringing down the curtain on a legendary career at international level.

A lone first-leg goal for Sweden proved enough for them to progress at Italy’s expense, leaving the Azzurri set to miss their first World Cup since 1958.

An appearance at Russia 2018 would have seen the 39-year-old equal the record of five World Cups, a mark previously reached by Mexico goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal and Germany midfielder Lothar Matthaus. Buffon was also an unused substitute at a sixth World Cup in 1998.

Instead Buffon, who was recently named winner of The Best FIFA Goalkeeper Award, was left to bid an emotional farewell to the international stage after 20 years.

“I’m not sorry for myself but all of the Italian football movement,” said Buffon.

“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.”

Buffon’s is comfortably Italy’s most-capped player (175 appearances) amid a host of other distinctions achieved since his debut in 1997.

Buffon was a key figure when Italy won the World Cup in 2006 for the fourth time.

“We have pride and strength, we’re stubborn and after the tough falls we find the way to get back up again,” Buffon added.

“I leave a national team with good guys and they’ll speak for themselves, [goalkeepers] Gigione Donnarumma and Mattia Perin won’t make me feel regret.

“Sport teaches you to win and lose together, to share the good and the bad.”