Italy stuttered to a goalless draw against Sweden in Milan on Monday as the four-time world champions lost 1-0 on aggregate in a fiercely contested play-off tie.
Jakob Johansson's deflected strike in Stockholm was the only goal over the two legs of the European playoff, meaning Italy miss out on the World Cup for the first time since the Swedes hosted the tournament in 1958 and finished as runners-up.
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"There is certainly a future for Italian football, as we have pride, ability, determination and after bad tumbles, we always find a way to get back on our feet", he added.
"Guys, we didn't lose the World Cup today [Monday]". I have to evaluate an infinity of things. After the match, he said: "I have not resigned because I haven't spoken to the president yet. Congratulations to the national team!" he wrote on Facebook.
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"It is really very sad because watching the World Cup was something that really brought us together as Italians", said recent graduate Stefania Pusateri, heading for the exit after watching the match in a Rome bar.
In addition to winning eight Serie A titles with Juventus, Buffon was key to Italy's World Cup triumph in Germany when he conceded just twice in seven games - a record he shares with Spain's Iker Casillas and France's Fabien Barthez.
The game at Milan's San Siro stadium witnessed a generational shift for Italy, with Buffon and fellow 2006 veterans Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi all quitting the team, while Giorgio Chiellini also hung up his Azzurri jersey.
But while Sweden may lack the star players of past generations, their coach riled at suggestions that Ibrahimovic might be tempted out of worldwide retirement ahead of Russian Federation 2018.
As the clock ticked down, De Rossi was asked by Ventura to warm up but he pointed at Insigne instead.
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"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.
"Let us support the young Italy that will come!"
"Italy, this is the apocalypse", ran a headline on the website of sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport.
"It is an intolerable football shame, an indelible stain", the newspaper said.
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