FIFA World Cup 2018

World Cup play-off shock as Sweden beats Italy

Italy, who have won the World Cup on four occasions, the last time in 2006, will be the most high profile absentee from the finals in Russia next year.

The result is a disaster for the Italian national team — which last missed the finals in 1958 — and for embattled coach Gian Piero Ventura, whose tactics and methods have been questioned by pundits and former players alike.