Italian national football squad (Azzurri) midfielder Daniele De Rossi refused to sub in during Monday’s second leg in Milan, in the second round of the Azzurri’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Sweden, and which ended in a goalless draw.
“I just told [Italian national team manager Giampiero Ventura] that ‘We are close to failure, and we need to win. So, let the forwards warm up,’” Football Italia quoted De Rossi as saying. “Ventura is a wonderful man. So, I apologize if I’ve offended anyone.”
Owing to their 1-0 win at home in the first leg, Sweden have qualified for the 2018 World Cup finals.
After the second-leg match, veterans Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, and Daniele De Rossi have announced that they are retiring from the Italian national squad.