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Pictures | Tue Nov 14, 2017 | 11:30am EST

Italy fails to qualify for World Cup

Italy players look dejected after a 0-0 draw against Sweden in Milan. A desperate draw at home to a defiant, belligerent and technically inferior Sweden ended the four-time world champions' hopes of reaching next year's finals in Russia and with it the international careers of several of Italy's biggest names. Italians, who consider a spot in the World Cup finals a virtual birthright, slumped into collective despair after the national team failed to win a place among soccer's elite for the first time in 60 years.

REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy players look dejected after a 0-0 draw against Sweden in Milan. A desperate draw at home to a defiant, belligerent and technically inferior Sweden ended the four-time world champions' hopes of reaching next year's finals in Russia and with it...more

Italy players look dejected after a 0-0 draw against Sweden in Milan. A desperate draw at home to a defiant, belligerent and technically inferior Sweden ended the four-time world champions' hopes of reaching next year's finals in Russia and with it the international careers of several of Italy's biggest names. Italians, who consider a spot in the World Cup finals a virtual birthright, slumped into collective despair after the national team failed to win a place among soccer's elite for the first time in 60 years. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and teammates celebrate after the match. The Swedes, whose starting lineup included only four players based with teams in Europe's so-called big five leagues, will take their place after qualifying for the first time since 2006.

REUTERS/Max Rossi

Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and teammates celebrate after the match. The Swedes, whose starting lineup included only four players based with teams in Europe's so-called big five leagues, will take their place after qualifying for the first time since...more

Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and teammates celebrate after the match. The Swedes, whose starting lineup included only four players based with teams in Europe's so-called big five leagues, will take their place after qualifying for the first time since 2006. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Italy's Gianluigi Buffon looks dejected after the match. It was the tear-jerking end to the career of their 39-year-old goalkeeper and captain, who made his Italy debut 20 years ago against Russia - on the last occasion that Italy had to face a playoff for a World Cup place. "It's upsetting that my last Italy game coincides with our elimination for the World Cup," said Buffon, a World Cup winner in 2006. "That's my only regret, because time goes by and it's cruel but that's how it is."

REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Italy's Gianluigi Buffon looks dejected after the match. It was the tear-jerking end to the career of their 39-year-old goalkeeper and captain, who made his Italy debut 20 years ago against Russia - on the last occasion that Italy had to face a...more

Italy's Gianluigi Buffon looks dejected after the match. It was the tear-jerking end to the career of their 39-year-old goalkeeper and captain, who made his Italy debut 20 years ago against Russia - on the last occasion that Italy had to face a playoff for a World Cup place. "It's upsetting that my last Italy game coincides with our elimination for the World Cup," said Buffon, a World Cup winner in 2006. "That's my only regret, because time goes by and it's cruel but that's how it is." REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Sweden celebrate after the match. The Italians have only failed to qualify for the tournament once before - missing out on the 1958 finals in Sweden - after not entering the first World Cup in 1930.

REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden celebrate after the match. The Italians have only failed to qualify for the tournament once before - missing out on the 1958 finals in Sweden - after not entering the first World Cup in 1930. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden celebrate after the match. The Italians have only failed to qualify for the tournament once before - missing out on the 1958 finals in Sweden - after not entering the first World Cup in 1930. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Italy's Federico Bernardeschi looks dejected after the match. The players sank to their knees as the final whistle went, the starkest possible contrast to the Swedish joy, knowing that the match will leave an indelible stain on their careers.

REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Federico Bernardeschi looks dejected after the match. The players sank to their knees as the final whistle went, the starkest possible contrast to the Swedish joy, knowing that the match will leave an indelible stain on their...more

Italy's Federico Bernardeschi looks dejected after the match. The players sank to their knees as the final whistle went, the starkest possible contrast to the Swedish joy, knowing that the match will leave an indelible stain on their careers. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and Andreas Granqvist celebrate after the match. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and Andreas Granqvist celebrate after the match. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Sweden's Sebastian Larsson and Andreas Granqvist celebrate after the match. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Italy's Stephan El Shaarawy looks dejected as Sweden's Emil Forsberg looks on after the match.

REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Stephan El Shaarawy looks dejected as Sweden's Emil Forsberg looks on after the match. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Stephan El Shaarawy looks dejected as Sweden's Emil Forsberg looks on after the match. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Gian Piero Ventura, at 69 the oldest coach Italy has ever had, refused to confirm that he would step down, saying he needed to talk to the federation first. Ventura made four changes to the team which lost 1-0 in Stockholm on Friday in the first leg and which was fiercely criticised for its lack of flair in attack.

REUTERS/Max Rossi

Gian Piero Ventura, at 69 the oldest coach Italy has ever had, refused to confirm that he would step down, saying he needed to talk to the federation first. Ventura made four changes to the team which lost 1-0 in Stockholm on Friday in the first leg...more

Gian Piero Ventura, at 69 the oldest coach Italy has ever had, refused to confirm that he would step down, saying he needed to talk to the federation first. Ventura made four changes to the team which lost 1-0 in Stockholm on Friday in the first leg and which was fiercely criticised for its lack of flair in attack. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Sweden coach Janne Andersson celebrates after the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden coach Janne Andersson celebrates after the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden coach Janne Andersson celebrates after the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Italy's Ciro Immobile misses a chance to score. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Ciro Immobile misses a chance to score. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Ciro Immobile misses a chance to score. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Sweden's Isaac Kiese Thelin misses a chance to score in action with Italy's Leonardo Bonucci. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden's Isaac Kiese Thelin misses a chance to score in action with Italy's Leonardo Bonucci. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden's Isaac Kiese Thelin misses a chance to score in action with Italy's Leonardo Bonucci. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Sweden's Marcus Berg and teammates celebrate after the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden's Marcus Berg and teammates celebrate after the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Sweden's Marcus Berg and teammates celebrate after the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Italy's Marco Parolo in action with Sweden's Ludwig Augustinsson. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Italy's Marco Parolo in action with Sweden's Ludwig Augustinsson. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Italy's Marco Parolo in action with Sweden's Ludwig Augustinsson. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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Italy's Leonardo Bonucci in action with Sweden's Andreas Granqvist. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Leonardo Bonucci in action with Sweden's Andreas Granqvist. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Leonardo Bonucci in action with Sweden's Andreas Granqvist. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Italy's Alessandro Florenzi looks dejected after missing a chance to score. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Alessandro Florenzi looks dejected after missing a chance to score. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy's Alessandro Florenzi looks dejected after missing a chance to score. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura and referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura and referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. REUTERS/Max Rossi

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura and referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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Italy players stand during the national anthem before the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Italy players stand during the national anthem before the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Italy players stand during the national anthem before the match. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
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