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Leonardo Bonucci and Gianluigi Buffon.

Talks are underway over new tournament for teams that didn't qualify for World Cup

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Netherlands, Italy and Chile - three huge nations that somehow won't be competing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer.

While Netherlands and Chile failed to progress past the group stage, Italy were eliminated by Sweden in a tense play-off where everyone had the Italians as favourites.

It means a number of world-class names will also miss out, such as Arjen Robben, Gianluigi Buffon and Alexis Sanchez.

In fact, those who will be absent from next summer's tournament could create a pretty incredible starting XI of their own (3-4-3):

Gianluigi Buffon; Virgil van Dijk, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini; Antonio Valencia, Arturo Vidal, Marco Verratti, David Alaba; Gareth Bale, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexis Sanchez.

In the aftermath of Italy's 1-0 aggregate defeat to Sweden, a number of Gli Azzurri's players announced their retirement from the national team.

Buffon, Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Daniele De Rossi all called time on their international careers to pave way for the next wave of Italian talent.

However, they could end up regretting that decision judging by latest reports from Goal and BBC Sport.

Italy v Sweden - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off: Second Leg

They claim talks are underway between the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), Soccer United Marketing and Fox to set up a tournament for those who didn't qualify for the World Cup.

It means football fans could have another international spectacle to look forward to next summer, most likely once the World Cup has finished.

FIFA have reportedly said they will not stand in the way providing the tournament adhere's to their rules and regulations.

Fox Sports first reported the discussions on Tuesday during the United States' friendly against Portugal and now the rumours have been confirmed.

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-NED-SWE

It's said the reason behind putting together another international tournament is to fill the calendars of those who won't be competing in Russia.

It also means the likes of Chile, the United States and Wales can prepare for upcoming tournaments like the 2019 Copa America and Euro 2020.

On paper it's an exciting idea, but time is of the essence and discussions must progress swiftly past the preliminary stage to have any hope of making it happen.

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Topics:
Italy Football
Giorgio Chiellini
Arturo Vidal
Arjen Robben
Wales
Football
Alexis Sanchez
Gianluigi Buffon
World Cup
Gareth Bale

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