Barzagli reflects on 'biggest disappointment of his life' after confirming Italy retirement

The defender was unable to pin-point what went wrong as the Azzurri sensationally missed out on a spot at Russia 2018

Andrea Barzagli reflected on the "biggest disappointment of my life" after confirming his Italy retirement following the Azzurri's shock failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

A goalless draw with Sweden at San Siro saw Gian Piero Ventura's side miss out on a spot in Russia due to a 1-0 defeat on aggregate, and means they will miss out on football's global showpiece for the first time in 60 years.

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Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon consequently confirmed his retirement after the game alongside Daniele De Rossi, with head coach Ventura expected to hand in his resignation in the coming days.

And Juventus centre-back Barzagli was unable to pin-point what went wrong for four-time world champions Italy.

"In football terms, it's the biggest disappointment of my life," he told Rai Sport.

"The Italy side gives you unique sensations. It gives you goosebumps, creates friendships between all the Italy fans. It's a real shame to end like this.

"I don't know what we missed, all I know is we're out of the World Cup, it's a unique disappointment and leaving this group of lads is painful.

"Everyone has their own feelings, but it's really hard to accept right now."

Team-mate Manolo Gabbiadini was equally despondent, but would not disclose what Ventura had said to his squad.

"I don't know what to say. It's an ugly thing that nobody wanted to see," he said.

"The coach said things that remain between us in the locker room."

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