The four-time world champions played out a goalless draw with Sweden at the San Siro on Monday night, failing to overturn a one-goal deficit from Friday's first leg in Stockholm and missing out on a place at next summer's finals in the process. We failed at something which also means something on a social level.
The defeat represents the end of a generation with Andrea Barzagli, 36, and 34-year-old midfielder Daniele de Rossi, who also lifted the 2006 World Cup, also retiring from internationals, along with Buffon's Juventus team-mate Giorgio Chiellini. I'm leaving an Italy side that will know how to speak for itself.
"What I wanted to say was that this was the demonstration that our collective acted like this during the whole length of the play-offs".
"Guys, we didn't lose the World Cup today [Monday]". Buffon played, he was good - as nearly always since - and he was a fixture from then on, first as a substitute, then number one goalkeeper and finally captain.
Another Rome resident Enrico Doddi summed up the national disappointment, saying: "You can not have a good World Cup without Italy".
Buffon also remains the only goalkeeper to win the UEFA player of the year award. After the match, he said: "I have not resigned because I haven't spoken to the president yet".
A true workhorse, he has constantly progressed technically and has lost nearly none of his extraordinary physical capabilities. However, despite dominating possession and having the best of the chances, it was not to be.
He made it all about himself.
"The era of four or five veterans comes to a close, the one of the hungry young players coming through begins and that's how it should be", said Ventura, who took over from Chelsea coach Antonio Conte in 2016 with a contract until June 2020.
With the team now confirmed for the World Cup in Russian Federation next year it seems Ibra is hinting at a possible comeback to worldwide football.