Veteran Italy Trio Join Buffon in Retiring From Azzurri Duty After World Cup Failure

Veteran Italy trio Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele de Rossi and Andrea Barzagli have joined legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in calling time on their international careers following Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Monday night’s 0-0 draw with Sweden in Milan was enough for the Swedes to preserve a slender 1-0 aggregate from the first leg of the playoff contest, with the Scandinavians booking their place on the global stage in Russia at the expense of the four-time champions.

39-year-old Buffon had intended to retire from all football after the tournament, just as France icon Zinedine Zidane did back in 2006, but his 20-year senior international career has been brought to an end a few months early. He will now retire at the end of the 2017/18 club season.

Chiellini, De Rossi and Barzagli, aged 33, 34 and 36 respectively, have all also chosen to now take a step back and allow a new generation to take up the mantle moving forward.

De Rossi, Barzagli and Buffon were all part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad in 2006, while Chiellini made his major tournament debut two years later at Euro 2008.

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