Gigi Buffon gave an update on his injury, but above all hit back at reports trying to drag him into the betting scandal. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
The goalkeeper went off at half-time in tonight’s 3-0 friendly defeat to Russia – when it was still goalless – due to a shoulder strain.
“I had a little knock on my shoulder when I went down to save, but I’m ok and I think my half was played with the right determination.”
Naturally, the conversation with RAI Sport drifted to the betting scandal, as police staged a dawn raid on the Coverciano training ground on Monday and most recently newspapers tried to drag Buffon into the affair with details of €1.5m he gave to a Parma tobacconist.
The tobacconist also has a betting booth, but Buffon insists most of the payments were for 20 Rolex watches.
“It has been a very tough week for everyone. That’s the truth, there’s no point lying about it. But in these moments you can tell who the real men are.
“We have zero fear, a lot of determination and are ready to step up when called upon to battle.
“I don’t have to clarify anything, as it is all clear. My expenditures, whether a collection of watches or helping a friend to buy a house, is private and of no interest to anyone.
“Someone decided to spread this to the media. Next time I’ll just tell everyone when I spend money, that way we can save the effort.
“All week the squad, including the Coach, realised something is amiss. Around five or six of us were dragged into it.
“Of course last night I was very upset, but at the end of the day I’ve done nothing wrong and didn’t kill anyone. It’s all so perfectly clear in my accounts that I have nothing to fear. It’s just a terrible shame to see speculation and people playing with human beings as if it was a game.
“I hope the media do something about this too, as everyone has to do their job well and work with conscience.”
It is illegal for players to bet on football matches, but the goalkeeper has said in the past he used to bet on other sports.
“I have broken absolutely no rules, not sporting or legal. I have a collection of watches and helped a friend to buy some land. It’s my business and there was already an investigation 18 months ago with nobody finding anything wrong.
“Clearly when you take the responsibility to vehemently express opinions then you have to be ready to accept the blow-back.
“The scandal is disappointing and does not honour football, but it’s also true we are talking about a minority. Therefore the majority needs to be protected.”