Friday August 10 2012
Buffon: Conte ban won’t motivate

Gianluigi Buffon has dismissed the notion that the betting scandal can be used to Juventus’ advantage motivationally, but reassures that everyone is calm.

The club are facing a season without their Coach on the touchline after Antonio Conte was hit with an initial 10-month ban for his alleged involvement in the betting scandal to have hit Serie A and B.

However, Buffon has been quick to honestly suggest that the situation is unlikely provide extra stimulus for the season, even if the players remain relaxed.

“When things happen like this that can destabilise an environment, we Italians like to say that it makes you stronger,” reflected the veteran shot-stopper to the assembled media.

“Personally I do not think that they can help an individual or a team.

“That said, we are totally relaxed and we want to do our duty, namely to win the Super Cup. We come into this from a defeat in the Coppa Italia Final and to lose a final is never good.”

The Italy captain was asked for his reaction to the verdicts that have left the club potentially without its Coach on matchdays, but with Simone Pepe and Leonardo Bonucci available for selection.

 “I am happy for Simone and Leonardo, who are friends. It is a similar relationship I have with the Coach, because we were also teammates.

“To Leo and Simone I congratulate them because they have experienced this story with great courage whilst Bonucci, who played sensationally at the European Championships, has demonstrated that he is a strong man.

“As for the Coach, the will to fight is part of his DNA and after all, we are only at the first stage of the judgement.”

Buffon was also asked of the club’s decision to leave Alessandro Del Piero’s No 10 shirt vacant.

“Between now and August 26 [when Serie A kicks off] there are still a few days missing and I think the numbers are not yet definitive.

“Also, it depends on the fact that if a player feels like wearing it, because that shirt will always have a particular weight to it - he had it for 20 years and he wrote a part of Juve’s history like other champions before him. I’m thinking about Platini.”