THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL
It wasn’t supposed to end like this. When Gianluigi Buffon, this generation’s pre-eminent goalkeeper, announced he would retire at the end of the 2017-18 season, the World Cup next summer seemed the perfect place to take his final bow. Then Jakob Johansson’s deflected strike from the edge of the area in Stockholm – celebrated by Emil Forsberg – ruined Buffon’s anticipated hurrah in Russia, a goalless second leg sealing the Azzurri’s fate. It’ll be the first World Cup without Italy since 1958. Ciao, Gigi!