Buf­fon bids teary Italy farewell af­ter de­feat

Sun.Star Davao - - FRONT PAGE -

GIAN­LUIGI Buf­fon had the per­fect farewell planned: Con­clud­ing his glo­ri­ous in­ter­na­tional ca­reer ex­actly where it started, in Rus­sia.

In a bonus sixth World Cup.

It wasn't mean to be, though.

Two decades af­ter mak­ing his Italy de­but on a snowy field in Moscow in a World Cup play­off, Buf­fon was in the jer­sey in Mi­lan on Mon­day in an­other play­off. But the Ital­ians drew the game with Swe­den and lost the play­off 1-0. Buf­fon, the cap­tain, wore the hurt on his face.

"It is up­set­ting that my last match de­cided we didn't qual­ify for the World Cup," he said, wip­ing away tears.

In his record 175th ap­pear­ance for Italy, Buf­fon was hardly tested and even ven­tured for­ward in a des­per­ate at­tempt to score on two cor­ners late in the match at San Siro. But four-time cham­pion Italy failed to qual­ify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958.AP

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

FAREWELL. Italy's goal­keeper Gian­luigi Buf­fon waves as he leaves the pitch af­ter the elim­i­na­tion of his team in the World Cup qual­i­fy­ing play-off sec­ond leg soc­cer match be­tween Italy and Swe­den, at the Mi­lan San Siro sta­dium, Italy, Mon­day, Nov. 13, 2017.

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