Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele de Rossi, and Andrea Barzagli, three of the biggest names in Italian football history, have joined legendary goalkeeper and Italy’s national team captain Gianluigi Buffon, as all four men have called it a career on the international stage for Italian football.
The Italian national team veterans decided to make the huge announcement following Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, after suffering an aggregate 1-0 defeat to Sweden, earlier this week in Milan.
Earlier this year, Gianluigi Buffon had hinted towards a possible retirement at the end of the season, however, the Juventus keeper intended on hanging up his boots by winning the 2018 World Cup. But, Buffon and his Italian team’s World Cup dreams were shattered before it could even properly begin, as Buffon will now officially retire from the game at the end of the 2017/18 season with his club Juventus.
On the other hand, Italy’s top defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Andre Barzagli have also decided to call it a career as they look forward to giving a chance to up and coming defenders in the game and allowing the next generation to step in for them.
Daniele De Rossi was also another influential player in the Italian national team and was an engine for his national side. De Rossi operated from the central midfield area for the Gli Azzurri, for almost thirteen years.
The trio of De Rossi, Barzagli, and Buffon were also the last of Italy’s World Cup-winning squad in 2006.
However, together all four players have represented their countries for a total of 461 times, with 175 caps in the name of Gianluigi Buffon, who currently holds the Italian and European record for making most appearances for his nation, behind Spain’s Iker Casillas who has 150 caps to his name.
All four players have given their personal statements after bowing out from the game. Buffon has said that he doesn’t feel sorry for himself but for all of the Italian football. The Juve keeper also said that his only regret is that he and his team failed to reach their only aim, which was to make it to the World Cup.
Buffon’s Juventus teammate Chiellini stated that the Italian team will now have to move forward without him, and there are a lot of other players who will now start for this national team instead. Chiellini ended by saying that in the end, his team deserved to go out.
De Rossi said that his adventure has come to an end and claimed that not making to the Russia World Cup was a black moment for Italian football.
Barzagli stated that this was the biggest disappointment of his life in football. He added that it was a shame that he had to finish his national level career in this manner.
No matter what, the retirement of all four of these players will surely affect the Italian national team in a major way, as four football icons have decided to hang up their boots at the same time and it is surely disappointing to witness them bow out of the game in such manner.