Sweden shatter Italy's World Cup dream

Sweden shatter Italy's World Cup dream

A lone first-leg goal for Sweden proved enough for them to progress at Italy's expense, leaving the Azzurri set to miss their first World Cup since 1958.

Giampiero Ventura, the Italy head coach, resigned after the final whistle but only after his decisions provoked a protest from one of the Azzurri's most-experienced global players.

De Rossi, a defensive midfielder, was so incensed by manager Gian Piero Ventura's decision to sub him on over Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne - arguably the most in-form Italian player in the world right now - that he let his feelings be known to the coaching staff. "We don't need to draw, we need to win!" BBC's Matthew Kenyon goes over the 39-year-old's other impressive stats.

"It wasn't up to me whether it was a tactical issue and the Prof [Ventura] is a lovely guy, so I'm sorry if I offended anyone".

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"At the time I just thought perhaps it was better that Insigne come on instead".

The Juventus number one has always been regarded as a legend both on and off the field, and many in football were devastated to see him miss out on what would have been a record-breaking sixth World Cup as Sweden held Italy to a nil-all draw in Milan last night.

Ibrahimovic has not appeared for Sweden since their group-stage exit at Euro 2016, and played no part in their successful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign.

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