Gianluigi Buffon retires from Italy duty as Gian Piero Ventura clings to job

• Goalkeeper, 39, ends international career with 175 caps
• Italy manager denies he has resigned but apologises for shock result

Italy’s shock failure to reach Russia proved to be Gianluigi Buffon’s final international. The 39-year-old called time on his 20-year, 175-cap career after the 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden.

“It is upsetting that my last match decided we didn’t qualify for the World Cup,” Buffon said. “I’m sorry. Not for me but for Italy. We blew something that could have meant so much. The only regret is that it ended like this.”

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