Buffon's incredible act as fans boo anthem

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon has emotionally applauded the Swedish national anthem in the face of incessant booing from Italian fans.

 

The goalkeeping legend was lining up in his side's World Cup qualifying match, when he heard his countrymen booing the anthem of his opponents.

Instead of joining the pack, or even being a bystander, Buffon took an active approach, powerfully clapping his hands together to show respect to the anthem.

Making the moment even more significant, it was Buffon's final ever match for Italy after Sweden held the match to nil-all, meaning they won 1-0 on aggregate.

Buffon had an emotional message after the agonising draw.

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Buffon frustrated as Italy miss out on World Cup qualification. Pic: Getty

"We have pride, strength and we're stubborn," Buffon said.

"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."

Buffon claps the Swedish anthem. Pic: Twitter

Italy will miss out on the World Cup for the first time in 60 years as Sweden secured a precious goalless draw that punched their ticket to Russia thanks to a 1-0 aggregate win.

Not since the 1958 tournament, coincidentally held in Sweden, have the Azzurri not been at football's showpiece event, but defeat in Solna in the first leg proved their undoing and surely signals the end of Gian Piero Ventura's disappointing reign as coach.

Italian players cannot believe they won't be in Russia. Pic: Getty

It was a far more industrious effort from the four-time world champions at San Siro than the drab effort produced in the first leg, and visiting goalkeeper Robin Olsen was at his best to keep Italy at bay at the end of a busy first half.

But there was no way past Sweden's stoic defence, which held firm to help book the nation's first World Cup appearance since 2006, and – for all of Italy's dominance of possession – the aggregate result could have been more convincing with the visitors denied two decent penalty shouts.

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