Italy will miss the World Cup for the first time in six decades. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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Four-time champion Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades after losing their playoff to Sweden 1-0 on aggregate.It could have been worse for Italy, as Sweden were denied what looked like two clear-cut penalties for handballs, first by Matteo Darmian and then Andrea Barzagli.This will be only the second World Cup missed by Italy.The last major competitions Italy failed to qualify for were the 1984 and 1992 European Championships.After winning the World Cup in 2006 for a fourth time, Italy went out at the group stage of the next two editions.Those three players are 26 or under and, along with forwards Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti, could form the spine of a rejuvenated Italy side for several years to come.
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