Italy join France, Argentina in list of shocking FIFA World Cup exits


Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958 as they were held to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of their play-off at the San Siro by Sweden, who qualified with a 1-0 aggregate victory.

Despite having retired from global football after the Euros in 2016 and not having played a minute of the World Cup qualifying campaign, Zlatan's tweeted was definitely more about him than the team.

Among the most heroic was Andreas Granqvist, Ibrahimovic's successor as captain, who was a colossal figure in central defence.

The former Torino coach has been under pressure ever since Italy failed to top their qualification group, and their World Cup failure is seemingly the final straw.

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"The target was the World Cup". Italy is slowly recovering from a prolonged recession, but most people say they see no sign of the pick-up, with wages stagnant and unemployment stuck above 11 percent. "I thought they'd forgotten it, but John [Guidetti] and "Vigge" [Victor] Lindelof shaved it off straight away!" "Not taking part in the Russia World Cup is an enormous slap in the face".

The Italian media has largely placed the blame for a poor qualifying campaign and dismal play-off attempt at the door of head coach Giampiero Ventura, who is under contract until 2020.

Jorginho's through ball found Immobile to pull back from the byline for Candreva to blast over, but Leonardo Bonucci, wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose on Friday, got a knock to the knee and was limping badly. "Let's make sure this helps us undertake radical change, immediately", he said.

Berg had little opportunity to shine in a match dominated by the Italians, with Sweden enjoying just 25 per cent of possession and four shots to Gli Azzurri's 23.

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"Considering that he has chose to leave worldwide football, he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and found another style".

"This is incredible. This player stopped playing with Sweden a year and a half ago and we are still talking about him", Andersson told reporters. "We couldn't do it in any other way". "Congratulations to the national team!" he wrote on Facebook.

"With Ibrahimovic we played differently". "We need to talk about the great players we have in this team". "He has chose to leave worldwide football, and he is a great champion, but we had to adapt and we found another style".

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