Salvatore Sirigu will start for Italy against Nigeria on Monday. “It’s an honour to wear Gigi Buffon’s jersey.”
The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper is given the opportunity to impress in an international friendly at Craven Cottage to warm up for the World Cup.
It will be his seventh cap, but the first was also in London against an African side, that time the Ivory Coast in August 2010.
“It’s not difficult for me to be behind Buffon in the pecking order. For someone who grew up with this legend it is satisfying and an honour to be his understudy,” said Sirigu.
“It is also an honour to be at the Nazionale and to wear the same jersey as someone like Gigi, a player who is simply beyond doubt.
“Maybe if I had stayed in Serie A, I wouldn’t have had the same growth process. Being in France certainly doesn’t damage me when it comes to the Italy jersey, as it doesn’t matter where you play, but rather how you play.
“I am sure it won’t just be this game, but my work every day that will help Cesare Prandelli evaluate my chances of going to the World Cup and make sure Buffon won’t be too sorely missed if he can’t play.
“Could there be a PSG-Juventus match in the Champions League? That would be exciting, without doubt, but Juve are an organised and very strong side who we’d rather avoid.”