The legendary goalkeeper had previously indicated his intention to step away from the Azzurri following the tournament in Russia. But Italy were eliminated from contention for the World Cup with a 0-0 second-leg draw against Sweden on Monday in Milan, as the visitors advanced on aggregate following a 1-0 win in the first leg.
Fans, players, clubs and news outlets reacted on social media as Buffon teared up during a post-match interview.
"I don't want to cry in front of the kids watching at home on TV who dream of playing for Italy," Buffon said in his heartbreaking remarks.
Check out the best Twitter reactions to Buffon hanging up his gloves on the international level:
Buffon just stormed off the mixed zone still crying.— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) November 13, 2017
Not with tears in eyes like all the others. Like LITERALLY crying.
Still, he found time to stop and come to shook my hand when he saw me.
I will miss you forever, mio Capitano
It appears Gianluigi Buffon has played his final game for Italy. He will be much missed. A mountain of a man. A Giant of a goalkeeper. A credit to his sport.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 13, 2017
175 caps— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) November 13, 2017
20 years of service
1 World Cup winners medal
It hurts to see Gigi Buffon leave the international scene like this pic.twitter.com/aEsYVLgFbL
No me gusta nada verte así! Quiero verte como hasta ahora, como lo que sigues siendo para muchos: una LEYENDA. Orgulloso de conocerte y orgulloso de haberme enfrentado a ti muchas veces. Aún nos tienes que deleitar en el fútbol amigo! #1 pic.twitter.com/gs9o0irCqo— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) November 13, 2017
FIM DE UMA ERA! Após queda da Itália nas eliminatórias, o mundo amargará uma Copa do Mundo sem a lenda Gianluigi Buffon!— FOX Sports Brasil (@FoxSportsBrasil) November 13, 2017
| #Buffon: ""We have pride, strength and we're stubborn. We know how to get back up again as we've always done. I'm leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself. Hugs to everyone, especially those I've shared this wonderful journey with."— Italy (@azzurri) November 13, 2017